The game plan for Coachella Valley was to avoid Orlando Wallace as much as it could. Cathedral City’s electric tailback had scored 13 times in four games and was, at times, carrying the Lions’ offense. He had also returned three kicks for touchdowns.
Coachella Valley head coach Brett Davis figured one way the Arabs could avoid Wallace was to kick away from him, as other teams have tried to do. So Davis trotted his kickoff team out and continually attempted onside kicks throughout the first half.
It didn’t work out as Davis had planned.
Scenes from the Cathedral City High School and Coachella Valley High School varsity football game in Cathedral City on Friday night, September 26th, 2014.
All it did was set Wallace up with fewer yards between him and the end zone.
And at the end of the shootout between the two teams, Wallace was the biggest difference, running for a school-record 442 yards and seven touchdowns as the driving force in the Lions’ 68-55 shootout win to open Desert Valley League play.
“We made sure we knew where he was all the times,” Davis said. “Fortunately, we won’t see too many players like that the rest of the way. We’re not going to see a one-man-show like that again except for maybe La Quinta.”
The previous record for rushing yards in a game at the school was set in 1998, by Royce Boone, who rushed for 301 yards against Brawley. Wallace was three yards short of matching that by halftime.
The 442 was the most yards that anybody in the valley has rushed for since last season, when Palm Desert’s Trae Riek ran for 458 against the Lions.
“I had no idea,” Cathedral City head coach Richard Lee said. “I thought he had maybe 300-something. He’s a talented kid, and when you have a weapon like that, you have to utilize him. We put the kid in a position to make plays, and he’s been doing that all season.”
Wallace was making plays all night. On only his third carry of the night, he scampered 61 yards for a touchdown to tie the score at 7. The rest of the first half, it was all Cathedral City.
Wallace ran for four more touchdowns in the half, including runs of 62, 57 and 39 yards. Then he ran for a 68-yard score and a 29-yard touchdown and, for good measure, added an interception on defense in the second half.
“The defense they were running only had one safety,” Wallace said. “If you put one guy on me in the open field, I feel like I can shake him. My line did a great job of getting me into the secondary.”
The win allows the Lions to control their own destiny in the DVL, something they could not do with the loss to open league play last season at Palm Desert.
With an improved Coachella Valley team this year, getting this head-to-head win could end up being vital to Cathedral City reaching the postseason for the first time since 2001.
“We had to win this game, we feel, if we wanted to get into the playoffs,” Wallace said. “This is the first step to getting to the playoffs, and I’m glad we got the ‘W’.”
Medina shines in loss
Coachella Valley was without Carlos Medina to start the season, but Davis knew he would have a special tailback once he returned. Medina showed how vital he is to the Arabs on Friday, rushing for 229 yards, catching 10 passes for 122 yards and scoring five touchdowns. With everybody focused on the CV passing attack, Medina quietly had one of the best individual performances of the season in the valley.
“He’s a special player,” Davis said. “He had a monster game tonight and showed what he can do for us.”
Cathedral City will look to go 2-0 in the league when they face Xavier Prep next Saturday in a battle of two of the three 1-0 teams in the DVL. The Saints beat Indio on Friday night. Lee addressed his team after the game and told them he wants to properly “welcome them to the DVL” by showing them about the quality teams in the league.
• Cathedral City 68, Coachella Valley 55
• La Quinta 49, Palm Desert 14
• Xavier Prep 49, Indio 13
Bye: Palm Springs
NEXT FRIDAY (Oct. 3)
• Palm Springs at Coachella Valley
• Indio at La Quinta
NEXT SATURDAY (Oct. 4)
• Cathedral City at Xavier Prep
Bye: Palm Desert
Cathedral City 68, Coachella Valley 55
(CV) Carlos Medina 18-yard pass from Darius Hulsey (Jesus Perez kick)
(CC) Orlando Wallace 61-yard run (Jose Hernandez kick)
(CC) Darien Broom 25-yard pass from Davin Lile (Hernandez kick)
(CC) Wallace 62-yard run (Hernandez kick)
(CV) Medina 11-yard run (Perez kick)
(CC) Wallace 4-yard run (Hernandez kick)
(CV) Jesus Brambila 37-yard pass from Hulsey (Perez kick)
(CC) Wallace 57-yard run (Hernandez kick)
(CC) Josh Mosley 44-yard run (kick failed)
(CC) Anthony Herrera 32-yard interception return (Hernandez kick)
(CV) Hulsey 1-yard run (Perez kick)
(CC) Wallace 39-yard run (Hernandez kick)
(CV) Medina 8-yard run (Perez kick)
(CC) Wallace 68-yard run (Hernandez kick)
(CC) Wallace 29-yard run (kick blocked)
(CV) Juan Rodriguez 70-yard pass from Hulsey (conversion failed)
(CV) Medina 17-yard run (conversion failed)
(CV) Medina 10-yard run (conversion good)
RUSHING (Carries-Yds-TDs) — CC: Orlando Wallace 31-442-7, Josh Mosley 6-65-1, Brandon Saylor 8-10, Anthony Herrera 3-3, Fernando Casteneda 4-11, Davin Lile 4-16. CV: Carlos Medina 23-229-4, Darius Hulsey, 2- (minus-4).
PASSING (Comp-Att-INT-Yds) — CC: Davin Lile 2-5-42. CV: Darius Hulsey 26-52-1-453.
RECEIVING (Rec. –Yds-TDs) — CC: Darien Broom 2-42-1. CV: Carlos Medina 10-122-1, Juan Rodriguez 8-173-1, Jesus Brambila 1-37-1, Pedro Torres 2-15, Carlos Espinoza 5-131.