Prep Impressions: Nov. 1, 2019

PHOTO by MILKA SOKO

MORENO VALLEY — The Moreno Valley-MoVal Vista del Lago Week 10 varsity football game on Friday, Nov. 1, 2019, was the Vikings’ third consecutive coronation.

For Moreno Valley, it took a little while to get on the offensive but the pillaging and plundering was good after they had worn down the opponents’ defense to the point of exhaustion. Sophomore RB Elijah Kelsey reaped the bulk of the benefits on two long touchdown runs and another 12-yarder in which he lowered his shoulder and pummeled a Vista del Lago linebacker/safety en route to the end zone. The Vikings passing game is a mess without a cleanup crew, but so long as Kelsey continues to rumble the three-time MVL champs have a chance.

Moreno Valley head coach Ted Wadkins, “We just kept plugging. It was just a deal where we had a lot of confidence in ourselves. And don’t get me wrong, Vista del Lago, they’ve changed. They’ve got that program rolling and there’s 8-or-9 dudes over there that used to play for me of coach with me, so they know a lot of what we do. There’s a lot of familiarity and they took some of our stuff away from us with that familiarity, but we just kept pounding and felt up front that we were better and we just kept working at it. It was a deal where it was too close so let’s keep punching it. We don’t want the turnovers, we don’t want the penalties that comes along with the passing game, and let’s just keep moving forward. Elijah is just a sophomore, and he’s not mentioned on any of these lists, but the kid’s got like, 1,300 or 1,400 yards, and there’s no way he’s not one of the best sophomore backs in the state. He does a good job of motivating himself. I told him, ‘You’re going to get in 20-25 times and you just got to keep sticking your head in there. If you can get me the 3 (yards) than get me the 3.’ And he did a great job of it. Right now we have no clue of who we’re going to get, so it’s one game at a time. We have to find out who we get so we can find out what they do. We’ve been in this position before.”

For Vista del Lago, this game and its relative weight were too much, too soon. The Ravens had a seven-game winning streak going into this game and looked like real competitors for the Mountain Valley League crown through the first half before their wings were clipped by Moreno Valley’s beefy offensive line and Kelsey’s relentless running style. All that aside, they have a handful of legit athletes and are close to an elite team in CIF-Southern Section Division 14, with a shot at their first section title in program history.

Vista del Lago coach Michael Touhy said, “We knew that after last year that they didn’t have much respect for us, and I think we earned the respect of the league this year with the way we played. Tonight was a tight game. Towards the end the score doesn’t show what this game was, right? We were in a tight game. Hats off to them. They’re a physical team. We went blow-for-blow with them and they came out on top. Respect to them. We’re right there. We’re right there. That’s a really good team. There’s a good chance they go all the way in Division 12, so we wanted to make sure we competed. We wanted to win a league title of course, but our eyes are now on CIF. Respect to them. We’re still building. I ain’t done. We ain’t done. We did a lot of good things today. We can improve a little bit offensively, moving the ball. We held them to 26 points, which is a big deal considering how well they’ve done this year. I think we’re right there. My kids are fighters. They understand. They have heart. They’re not going to quit. We played MoVal last year and they boat-raced us, 41-6, so at least now they know they got a fight on their hands.”

BOX SCORE
Moreno Valley – 0 – 8 – 0 – 18 — 26
Vista del Lago – 8 – 3 – 0 – 0 — 11
First quarter

V – D.Smith 60 pass from Medina (D.Smith run), 1:18
Second quarter
M – Kelsey 53 run (run failed), 9:41
M – Safety, 6:52
V – Salazar 27 FG, 4:00
Third quarter
No scoring
Fourth quarter
M – Kelsey 12 run (run failed), 9:09
M – Kelsey 43 run (run failed), 2:37
M – Fifita 1 run (run failed), 1:18
Individual statistics
Rushing
– Moreno Valley: Kelsey 30-205, Louis 2-43, Brown 4-20, Henderson 3-10, Haney 1-5; Vista del Lago: D.Smith 7-19, Goss-Jenkins 6-13, Medina 6-(minus-19).
Passing – Moreno Valley: Brown 5-11-2-40; Vista del Lago: Medina 11-21-0-136.
Receiving – Moreno Valley: Louis 3-19, McCrady 1-12, Kelsey 1-9; Vista del Lago: Smith J.Smith 5-63, D.Smith 1-60, Goss-Jenkins 4-7, Hayes 1-6.
Penalties – Moreno Valley: 9-80; Vista del Lago: 6-45.

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