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Downey beats Gahr, stays perfect in league play
Downey grinds out tough win against Gahr, prepares for showdown with Paramount.
WRITTEN BY :   Mark Fetter, Contributor

DOWNEY – The Downey High School football team defeated the Gahr Gladiators at Allen Layne Stadium 14-5 last Friday evening. This was a grind it out game where both teams struggled to get the ball in the endzone.
With the win, Downey now has an overall record of 5-2 and a league record of 2-0. Gahr fell to 3-4 overall and 0-2 in S.G.V.L. play.
Downey kicked off to Gahr to start the game. Midway through the first quarter, Gahr scored a safety on a botched punt from the Downey endzone, taking a 2-0 lead. Downey stopped Gahr after the Gladiators safety possession and scored on their ensuing possession when Justin Huff scored on a touchdown run. Mario Galvan kicked the extra point and Downey led 7-2. Gahr moved the ball down the field on their ensuing possession and got down to the Downey six yard line before their drive stalled. The Downey defense held and Gahr settled for a 23 yard field goal at the :40 second mark of the first quarter. The score at the end of the first quarter was 7-5 Downey.
Downey and Gahr traded the ball and field position for the entire second quarter with no team scoring. Downey appeared to have an opportunity to score on a 47 yard Mario Galvan field goal with :27 seconds left until halftime. The kick was four yards short of the crossbar and Downey led at halftime by the same 7-5 score. This game was clearly turning into a defensive contest.
Gahr kicked the ball off to Downey to start the second half. The two teams each had a possession when Gahr was forced to punt. Downey put pressure on the Gahr punter and the punter was forced to punt under a heavy rush. The ball was punted to mid field on several bounces when I heard Viking return man Jeremy Villa yell “fire, fire, fire.” The “fire” call from the return man tells his team to get away from the ball so it doesn’t accidentally touch anyone. As Villa yelled “fire,” both Downey and Gahr players cleared away from the ball and Jeremy Villa cleverly ran to the ball, scooped it up and raced 50 yards for the Vikings second touchdown. This touchdown and extra point came at the 8:05 mark of the third quarter. This play by Villa was gutsy, as any coach would tell you, but it was a huge lift for Downey who needed the lift. Villa’s touchdown not only extended Downey’s lead, but more importantly, made it a two possession game. Gahr missed a 47 yard field goal attempt at the 3:43 mark of the third quarter. The score at the end of the third quarter was 14-5 Downey.
The fourth quarter saw Gahr, once again, attempt a field goal at the 11:05 mark. This 35 yard field goal sailed wide right and was no good. The score remained 14-5 Downey. On their ensuing possession, Downey chewed on the clock and successfully took several minutes off the game clock that Gahr needed. The scored remained unchanged and Downey won their second league game, in as many attempts, 14-5.
The Viking passing attack finished the game 5/13 for 51 yards. Jorge Reyna was 1/5 for 17 yards and Conor Hill was 4/8 for 34 yards. The Downey rushing attack accumulated 318 yards on the ground. Justin Huff rushed 20 times for 251 yards, Tristan Esparza rushed two times for 27 yards, Jorge Reyna rushed two times for 22 yards, Rober Salazar rushed two times for 11 yards, Matthew Gonzalez rushed two times for five yards and Jeremy Villa rushed one time for four yards. Justin Huff led Viking receivers with three catches for 34 yards, Jeremy Villa had one catch for ten yards and Tristan Esparza had one catch for seven yards.
The Viking defense was led by Jeremy Villa’s seven solo and nine assisted tackles, Patrick Smith’s two solo and ten assisted tackles, Robert Salazar’s two solo and nine assisted tackles and Tristan Esparza’s four solo and six assisted tackles. Tony Florido added two sacks and Downey’s defense finished with a total of five. It is safe to say that Gahr quarterback Caleb Baumann was under pressure the entire game.
The Vikings travel across the railroad tracks this evening for a showdown with Paramount. Paramount is 6-1 overall and are also 2-0 in league. The Pirates’ lone defeat of the season was a close loss to Los Alamitos. This game against Paramount will be physical and there will be a lot of run plays called.
The road to the San Gabriel Valley League championship certainly involves these two teams. The winner of this game will most likey be the league champion and the number one seed for the S.G.V.L. in the C.I.F. Southeast Division playoffs. Paramount was the top seed last year while Downey was the second seed and Dominguez was the third seed. Paramount defeated Downey in last year’s game, Downey defeated Dominguez and Dominguez defeated Paramount for the three way tie. A coin toss determined the seedings. If there is a single game to see this year in the entire S.G.V.L. schedule, this is it.

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Published: October 18, 2012 – Volume 11 – Issue 27



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