The running back revolving door at La Quinta will continue this week when the Blackhawks return home to face Eisenhower (Rialto) on Friday.
Head coach Dan Armstrong had Kenyon Williams, a former All-DVL performer, throughout the summer before losing him to a hip injury in a scrimmage the week before the season began. Chris Rom-Toribio filled in admirably, totaling 548 yards and three touchdowns in three games.
Then a sprained right foot sidelined Rom-Toribio last week against Roosevelt (Eastvale), and Armstrong inserted Vince Guzman, who carried the ball 36 times for 236 yards and three scores.
“We’re a little banged up right now,” Armstrong said. “But we have some guys that are stepping up.”
Rom-Toribio will again be out this week, though he is expected back next week to begin the Desert Valley League slate. That means Guzman will take the bulk of the carries, along with Darius Griffin, who is back after missing last week.
Still, not having Rom-Toribio puts Guzman in the backfield, taking away quarterback Trevor Hampton’s primary target. With receivers Dejon Wilson, Khari Haynes and Mike Sillers out, running the football will be paramount.
“I hate not being out there,” Rom-Toribio said. “But Vince ran hard and had a great game against a tough defense.”
Guzman and Griffin are each former All-DVL linebackers who have shown an ability to rack up the yardage. The Blackhawks will face perhaps their toughest opponent to date on Friday, but the pair of running backs could make the game interesting if they break some long runs early.
“We have a good system running the ball,” Rom-Toribio said. “That’s been big for us this year.”
Steed gets his fresh start
Former Desert Hot Springs quarterback Steven Steed will make his first start at his new high school, South Tahoe, this Friday against Dayton (Nevada). Steed was not eligible last Friday as the Vikings (0-5) fell, 33-20, at Wooster in Reno, but has practiced with the team the last two weeks.
Steed threw for 464 yards, three touchdowns and a pair of interceptions in three games before leaving Desert Hot Springs on Sept. 20.
In his absence, the Golden Eagles (0-5) have shifted to a more run-heavy offense that has allowed other players to emerge. The Golden Eagles will play at Rim of the World this Friday.
If Cathedral City head coach Richard Lee was hoping to keep his team motivated after an easy 69-7 victory over Desert Mirage, he may be in luck. Despite the win, and a pristine 4-0 record, the Lions were pushed out of the CIF-SS Central Division poll this week. The Lions are listed as an honorable mention, while La Quinta (2-2) fell from No. 8 to No. 10 after a loss to Roosevelt and Palm Springs (4-1) moved up one spot to No. 7 with a win over Redlands.
Shadow Hills (3-2) retained the No. 10 spot in the East Valley Division rankings following a road win at Banning on Friday.