DV Varsity Football defeats Deer Valley 31-16 in homecoming game

The Wolverine offense attempts to score near the goal line.

Kimberly Cui

The Wolverine offense attempts to score near the goal line.

Rikin Patel and Lucas Quick

Dougherty Valley won their third home game of the season against Deer Valley with a score of 31-16 on Sept. 24, continuing their undefeated streak to 4-0.

At kickoff, the Wildcats punted the ball to the Wolverines. Deer Valley attempted to run the ball with Wolverine wide receiver Thailand Black, who rushed twice for about 10 yards and nine yards. It didn’t work however, because the stout Wildcat defense forced two straight incompletions, forcing the Wolverines to punt the ball to the Wildcat’s offense for the first time.

The Wildcats also started with the run game, handing the ball to Wildcat running back Aryan Gaur  for a pair of good rushes of eight and nine yards. Their strong start to the opening drive came to an end, however, when two penalties that were called against the Wildcats forced them to punt right back to Deer Valley. 

On defense, the Wildcats forced a quick three and out, giving possession right back to the Wildcat’s offense. Shortly after, Gaur burst through the middle of the field, breaking out for 32 yards and the first touchdown of the night. With the PAT successful, the Wildcats struck first with a 7-0 lead.

With the Wildcats gaining early momentum on both offense and defense, not only did the Wildcats score an early touchdown but the defense also continued to push the Wolverines out of their comfort zone. After Gaur’s touchdown, the Wildcats forced yet another three and out for the Wolverine offense. 

Starting at the 35-yard line, Wildcat running back Leslie Williams Jones broke free on the first play of the Wildcat’s next drive by scoring a long 65-yard touchdown run. The PAT was successful, extending the Wildcat’s lead to 14-0. 

Deer Valley didn’t fade away from the game, however, as they started their next drive with a 15 yard run by Black. After an extensive and well executed 15 play drive, the Wolverines finished the drive with a three yard touchdown catch by Black; the 2-point conversion was successful, cutting the Wildcat lead to 14-8. 

At kickoff the very next play, Wildcat Williams Jones received the football on a Wolverine punt and returned it for a whopping 80 yards and a Wildcat touchdown; the PAT was successful, moving the Wildcats back to a two possession lead with a score of 21-8. 

The Wolverines started their next drive with a 20-yard catch made by wide receiver Carlos Perez. They weren’t able to get anything else going, and the Wildcats forced another punt. 

The Wildcats weren’t able to add more points to the scoreboard before halftime because of a few mistakes on offense that forced a three and out.

The Wildcats started on offense to begin the second half, and Gaur ran for two nine yard rushes. The Wolverines stopped the Wildcats short, forcing them to kick a field goal. Wildcat Kicker Brandon Axton nailed a 41-yard field goal, the longest Wildcat field goal this season. The kick extended the Wildcat’s lead to 24-8. 

The Wildcats kicked the ball back to the Wolverines and shortly after forced a fumble on a Wolverine 50-yard rushing play, bringing the Wildcat offense back onto the field. 

Wildcat players Theodore Leong (90), Jake Masse (60), and Guolin Wu (10) pose after winning the game. (Kimberly Cui)

After a few rushes by Wildcat running backs, the Wolverine defense forced a fourth down for the Wildcats. The Wildcat offense, however, perfectly executed an unexpected fake punt. Wildcat running back Austin Spears (28) kept the football and ran for 34 yards, getting a first down on the trick play. 

Six plays later, Williams Jones found the endzone for the third time, with a five yard touchdown; the PAT was good, furthering the Wildcat lead to 31-8. 

Being behind by three possessions, Deer Valley switched their game script and attempted more passes in garbage time. Even so, the Wildcat defense stood their ground, forcing another fumble, recovering the football, and putting their offense right back on the field. 

The Wildcats were able to run the clock down, as Williams Jones ran for a seven yard carry, later followed with a 34-yard rush. The drive was cut short with a delay of game penalty called against the Wildcats, ensuring a three and out that gave the ball back to the Wolverines.

The Wolverines scored during garbage time when Wolverine quarterback Ayanfe Adediran Jr. passed the ball to Wolverine wide receiver Jazell Washington for a 10-yard receiving touchdown; the two-point try after was successful, ending the game with a final score of 31-16.

After the game, Wildcat wide receiver Guolin Wu explained “Our defense can get a little sloppy at times. We have to make sure we close the door and make sure there are no mistakes.”

Stay tuned for video interviews of quarterback Aditya Ved, Gaur, Alain Gachara and more!