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Jaguars trounce rival Orange Glen to wrap up football season with a win


November 13, 2013
One of the hallmarks of the 2013 Valley Center varsity football season has been the team's struggles in overcoming adversity on the field.

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The Jaguars had struggled the previous seven games, but found little trouble in trouncing their rival this time. Photos courtesy of Gabriel Santana
The Jaguars are unquestionably talented, but so often this year, a big play here and a missed opportunity there put the Jags in a hole they couldn't escape.

So when the season finale came on Friday in the form of the annual rivalry game against Orange Glen, and the Patriots opened the contest with a huge play for a touchdown on the second play from scrimmage, the feeling of "Oh no, here we go again!" murmuring through the stadium was palpable.

But the Jaguars showed their resolve and their true character with an outstanding performance for the rest of the game, as they made play after play to score 49 unanswered points and hold the Patriots scoreless for the remainder of the contest in taking a 49–6 win.

"A lot of teams would've quit, but you fought through," Head Coach Rob Gilster told his team after the game. "This season was stacked against us with the schedule and with all the injuries, but I'm proud of you guys. I'm proud of your heart and your desire. I love coaching this team and I wish I could keep coaching you guys this year."

Valley Center welcomed Orange Glen to Jaguar Stadium a year after the Patriots upset the Jags at Orange Glen in the final game of the 2012 season, marking the first time the Patriots defeated the Jaguars since Valley Center High School played its first season of football in 1999.

This year, the Patriots looked to take command of the game right from the get-go, as they needed only two plays to put their first points on the board. On the second play of the opening drive, Orange Glen ran a reverse with one of its wide receivers, who slipped through a tackle and took off down the sideline for a 69-yard touchdown just 1:20 into the game.

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But it proved to be the final score the Patriots would get, as they missed the extra point and went on to allow 49 unanswered points to the Jaguars in what turned out to be a rout for the home team.

"These guys have always played hard, and to have it come together, finally, it's a great win," Coach Gilster added. "Orange Glen is good enough to beat us, and after that big play, a lot of kids would start complaining or whining, but our guys always played hard. I love coaching. It was hell going through this season, but I love these guys and I'm glad we went out with a win."

When the dust settled, the embattled Valley Center offense finished with seven touchdowns — three on the ground by running back Brad Dozier, one rushing score by Jacob Cunningham, another scoring run by quarterback Daniel DeLeon, and a pair of touchdown passes by DeLeon to Luke Konyn and Anthony Ricks.

Orange Glen opened the scoring on the game's second play from scrimmage and held a 6–0 lead with 10:40 left in the first quarter.

But the Jaguars put together a methodical drive to answer, as they ran seven plays to cover 53 yards and score on a one-yard quarterback sneak by DeLeon. The touchdown gave Valley Center a 7–6 lead with 8:18 remaining in the first quarter, and the Jags never looked back.

The Patriots went for it on fourth-and-three at their own 27 on the next drive, but although they picked up close to three yards on a run, they came up just short of converting and gave the ball back to the Jaguars.

Three plays later, the Jags were on the board again, this time scoring on a seven-yard run by Dozier that put his team up 14–6 with 5:26 left in the first.

Orange Glen strung together a nice drive in response, using up nine plays along the way. But the Patriots tried to convert another fourth down, this time a fourth-and-five from the Valley Center 21. Jaguar cornerback John Cabrera knocked the pass away for his second pass breakup on the drive, giving the ball back to the Jags in their own territory.

Valley Center gave up a sack on the ensuing third down, however, and had to punt.

Once again, the Patriots had a nice drive going, as they put together eight plays and three first downs. But on fourth-and-16 from the Valley Center 37, they tried to convert with a pass down the sideline. Jared Gilster intercepted the pass — he almost couldn't have avoided it, since the ball was thrown right to him — and returned it to the Valley Center 27.

From there, the Jags embarked on a six play, 73-yard drive to score their third touchdown of the night, this one coming on a nine-yard pass from DeLeon to Konyn in the front corner of the endzone. The score put the Jaguars ahead 21–6 with 4:59 left in the second quarter.

Orange Glen put together another lengthy drive in response, but once again eschewed the punt in favor of going for it on fourth-and-ten from the Valley Center 24-yard line. The Patriots had already converted a fourth-and-one on the drive, but tried to pull out another trick to get the ten yards they needed. On another reverse to the wide receiver, the Patriots got stuffed and tried to lateral the ball back across the field, but the ball rolled out of bounds at the Valley Center 43.

After two long completions to Gilster on the drive's first two plays, the Jags found the endzone again on a six-yard touchdown run by Dozier that put the home team up 28 –6 with exactly two minutes remaining before halftime.

The Patriots tried furiously to score before the break, and succeeded in driving to the Valley Center four-yard line with two seconds left. They snapped the ball in a hurry and tried to complete a pass, but the Jaguar defense broke the play up and kept the lead at 22 points at the half.

It didn't take long after halftime for the score to get even more lopsided, as the Jaguars scored on their second play from scrimmage to open the third quarter.

DeLeon connected with Ricks on a quick swing pass, and the speedy receiver simply outran the defense down the sideline for a 74-yard touchdown and a 35–6 lead just 52 seconds into the second half.

The Jaguars got another interception, this one by Cabrera, to stop Orange Glen's next drive, and the offense responded with another long scoring drive.

The Jags covered 65 yards in seven plays to score on a 23-yard touchdown run by Dozier to give Valley Center a 42–6 lead with 3:30 left in the third quarter.

Cabrera got his second interception of the night on the ensuing possession, as he showed good discipline by not falling for a pump fake to a receiver in the flat, but stayed home for the deep pass, which he picked off easily and returned to his own 27.

The Jags set off from there to get the final score of the night, capping a seven-play, 73-yard drive with a two-yard touchdown run by Cunningham to seal the win.

On the final play of the game, Valley Center linebacker Ishii Croy came up with a sack as the clock expired on the 2013 Valley Center varsity football season.

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