Host Laveen Cesar Chavez defeated Surprise Valley Vista 13-8 in a Division I, Section II game on Friday night.
Both teams struggled in an ugly game to get into any offensive rhythm as they traded penalties and turnovers.
Cesar Chavez coach Jim Rattay played a two-quarterback system, starting quarterback Daniel Lerma in the first quarter and then bringing in Ivan Jones in the second quarter.
Cesar Chavez (2-6, 2-1) scored first after a bad punt snap led to Valley Vista turning it over on downs on their own 22; this led to an easy 16-yard touchdown run by Bradley Burston.
Valley Vista (3-5, 0-3) answered on its next drive, quarterback Damian Alarcon threw a quick pass to Malik Moody and added a 2-point conversion to go up 8-6 on Cesar Chavez.
Valley Vista did limit the passing game for Cesar Chavez but the few big plays they did give up to Jones were the key plays that contributed to its loss.
Jones was the spark that Chavez needed as the quarterback used his feet on the first drive in the second quarter that resulted in three consecutive running plays that totaled 57 yards and a touchdown to put his team up 13-8.
That touchdown put Chavez up by 5, they never looked back as they ate up the clock and played stifling defense the rest of the way.
Cesar Chavez made sure that Valley Vista wide receiver Terry Juniel didn’t beat them, limiting the senior to a total of 21 yards in the game.
Juniel had more touches in the second half but the defense swarmed him every time he would try to get loose.
Valley Vista was pressured throughout the game and didn’t have an answer for the constant blitzes and tight coverage utilized by Cesar Chavez.
One of the bright spots for Valley Vista was the first half play from running back Izel Robinson, who carried the ball 18 times for 62 yards but was held to just 2 yards in the second half.
Despite three turnovers, Cesar Chavez pulled out the win by overpowering and stifling the Valley Vista offense.