Dougherty Valley Varsity Football kicks off the season with two consecutive wins

Harshita Neralla and Caroline Lobel

The Dougherty Valley Varsity Football team dominated their first two home games against the Arroyo High School Dons, 40-6, on Friday, Sept. 7, and against the Mt. Eden High School Monarchs, 41-6, on Friday, Sept. 14.

This strong start could lead to a new season of recovery and growth from last year’s 1-9 losing record. Although the team did drop down one league, they, along with their crowd, remain proud of their play.

“We’re still winning. That’s the important part,” spectator Jose Sarmiento, sophomore, said.

Coach Brandon Black and the team have plans to work harder and win all their games.

“I expect better results than tonight; we’re better than [what we showed] tonight, so I expect them to keep doing this every week. We really don’t care who our opponent is; we’re ready to play,” Head Coach Black said on Sept. 7.

Dougherty’s defense throughout the first game was strong compared to their previous seasons. Both teams sported strong offensive and defensive sides, shown through their tackles and touchdown attempts.

The first touchdown of the game was scored by Dougherty only a couple minutes into the first quarter by wide receiver Eric Delgesso, senior.

In the second quarter, Dougherty scored three touchdowns. Running back Xavier Coleman, a senior and the team captain, led his team on offense, scoring two touchdowns himself.

Another touchdown in between was scored by running back Demonte Aleem, senior, after he intercepted the ball around the 25 yard line. In the second quarter, the Wildcats scored two out of the three available extra points.

Coleman scored another touchdown during the third quarter but failed to claim a field goal.

Arroyo scored their first and only touchdown of the game during the fourth quarter. Not to be deterred, Coleman scored a final touchdown for Dougherty along with a extra point, bringing the final score to 40-6, securing the victory for the Wildcats against the Dons.

Teju Anand

“I think we’re playing okay. I think we have so much potential. I love this team and I love everyone in it. These guys are like my brothers,” Coleman said.

The team’s winning streak continued as they won 41-6 during the following week’s game against the Mt. Eden Monarchs.

Delgesso scored the first touchdown of the game for Dougherty during the first quarter. The second touchdown was scored by wide receiver Abhijeet Sandhu, senior. An additional two points were scored after.

No points were scored from either team during the second quarter, ending the first half with a score of 14-0, with the Wildcats leading.

A touchdown was scored halfway through the third quarter by Aleem, along with two extra points. Wide receiver James Boatner, junior, and Aleem both exhibited good defense throughout this quarter.

In the final quarter, Coleman, Aleem, and running back John Varni, junior, all scored touchdowns. An additional three points were added. The Monarchs scored one touchdown halfway through the quarter, making the final score 41-6, guaranteeing the Wildcats another win.

“[It] feels good to not see losses anymore,” spectator Daniel Bahamon, sophomore, said.

The team hopes to keep up this winning streak throughout this season.

“We just need to clean things up. I mean, we got the time, we got the coaching, you know we got that, we just need to be more tidy. We had numerous penalties, numerous touchdowns or could-have-been touchdowns that got pulled back, so we just need to clean that stuff up,” Ryle Rel, senior and team captain, said on Sept. 14.

The team is motivated to go above and beyond to make this their best season yet, and they are confident that Coach Black can bring them there.

“I think we are gonna go hard with this team. I think we are going to go the farthest Dougherty Valley has ever gone,” Coleman said.

The next home football game will be the homecoming game on Oct. 5.