Jeremy Dotson threw four touchdown passes and Palm Springs High School held off a late rally by Kaiser High School for a 38-29 non-league varsity football victory Friday in Fontana.
The win was the first of the season for Palm Springs, which improved to 1-3 heading into Desert Valley League player next week.
“It was ugly, but the kids stepped up right at the end when we really needed to stop them,” Palm Springs head coach Dan Murphy said. “That could be the turning point for us, because we are getting a couple of guys back next week.”
The Indians never trailed in the game against Kaiser, a traditionally strong team from Fontana. In part, that was because Dotson threw two first-half touchdowns to Damion Lee, the first for 15 yards and the second for 83 yards. That helped give Palm Springs a 21-14 halftime lead.
“Jeremy Dotson really grew up tonight,” Murphy said of the sophomore quarterback. “He was putting guys in position, taking charge of the huddle. It was a big night for him.”
Dotson added scoring tosses in the second half of 40 yards to Damion Loman and one of 30 yards to Nick Foster-Reyes.
“We thought we could (pass the ball) and then when we got here and kind of watched them in pregame, the way they were aligning us, and we knew we could throw,” Murphy said.
Kaiser threatened late in the game, but Palm Springs defense stiffened to get the season’s first win.
“Execution, we got better in all three phases of the game, and we faced adversity, which is big for us a young team, and we won.”
Murphy said he believes the win was big, not just because it was on the road, but because it was the last non-league game before the Indians start Desert Valley League play next week against Indio.
“We broke down a few times defensively but when it got to crunch time they stepped up,” Murphy said. “We finally got a win. We’ve got something to build on. The kids grew up tonight.”
Desert Christian 28, Riverside County Education Academy 8: The Conqueors’ defense shut out Riverside Country in the second half and Wyatt Snellenberger threw for three touchdowns as Desert Christian improved to 1-2 for the season with the home victory in Bermuda Dunes.
“We had a really good first half,” head coach Scott Gilbert said of the Conquerors. “We stumbled a little in the second half and only scored one touchdown. But our defense came out and played a really great second half.”
Snellenberger finished the night completing 11-of-22 passes for 132 and the three touchdowns. Two of the scoring passes came in the first half to Casey Herrell and David Miller. Snellenberger and Harrell also connected for a score in the second half.
Desert Christian’s other score on the night came from running back Jacob Hushaw, who finished the evening with 51 yards on 17 carries.
Leading the defensive effort was Bryce Jordan with 10 tackles, including two sacks.
The Conquerors will be on the road next week to face Mojave.
Cathedral City 29, Tahquitz 13: The Lions earned their first win of the season with the road victory in Hemet.
The 29 points for the Lions was the most the team has scored this year, and the 13 points for Tahquitz were the fewest points Cathedral City (1-3) has allowed this season.
The Lions will begin Desert Valley League play next week at home against Shadow Hills.
Santa Margarita Catholic 12, Palm Desert 6: The Aztecs won five singles matches but could only manage one doubles win in the non-league loss
In singles, Palm Desert wins came from Kyle Shannon (6-1), Claudia Stepien (6-0, 7-5) and Tenaya Moranda (6-0, 6-0). In doubles, the lone Palm Desert win came from the team of Saige Collins and Maeli Martin – a 6-2 win.
West Shores defeats Julian: The Wildcats swept their match against San Diego Section team Julian by scores of 25-8, 25-12 and 25-11.
West Shores (5-2) was led by Diana Campos with seven kills and nine aces and Cruzzanna Hernandez added 10 assists.
West Shores will travel to face Twentynine Palms Monday.
Desert Christian defeats Lutheran: The Conquerors scored the sweep over Lutheran in the non-league match. Desert Christian won by scores of 25-12, 25-14 and 25-15.