The first play of Valor Christian’s season went perfectly. The rest of the game? Not so much.
Handed an ESPN national television audience, 5-star quarterback and Michigan recruit Dylan McCaffrey was thoroughly outshone by Saguaro junior Max Massingale and the Arizona team’s offense, rolling to a 49-28 victory in Colorado.
The aforementioned first play was a clever trick play that started with McCaffrey and ended with his brother, Luke McCaffrey, carrying the ball on the left flank for a solid gain. But the Saguaro defense then stiffened against the vaunted Valor Christian offense. By that point the Eagles were already down 7-0, and they never truly caught up.
That’s not to say there weren’t fireworks provided by the Eagles throughout. At one point a desperate Valor Christian offense lined up with three quarterbacks. And there were highlights throughout from McCaffrey, who threw, ran and passed for a touchdown in the defeat. By game’s end he had 205 yards and a touchdown through the air on 18-of-24 passing, 56 rushing yards with a touchdown and another 25 and a score on a single reception.
Yet that couldn’t compare with Massingale, who had 147 yards and two touchdowns passing and another two on the ground … in the first half alone.
There will be more opportunities for both teams to leave a positive impression. Now that means much more for Valor Christian backers than it did before kickoff.