Ranked 46th in the state by MaxPreps, the St. Genevieve High School football team came into Friday night’s game, Sept. 13, with some impressive numbers, having outscored their last two opponents by a combined score of 92-0. The Valiants were as good as advertised, continuing their winning ways to a 42-7 victory over the Warriors at Valley Memorial Stadium. St. Genevieve moves to 2-1 on the year while the Warriors fall to 1-2.
Starting the game with good field position on their own 45-yard line, the visitors wasted little time moving downfield. Just over two minutes in, Michael Moulton’s 11-yard touchdown run gave the Valiants a 7-0 lead. Following a Warriors three-and-out, St. Genevieve once again had great midfield position, and Michael Taufahema’s 38-yard run put the ball on the Carpinteria 12. Quarterback Danny Rodriguez then connected with wide receiver Jason Canales for a 12-yard scoring pass to take a 14-0 lead with 4:24 still left in the first quarter.
On Carpinteria’s next possession, quarterback Diego Mendez hooked up with Jacob Mata, and the senior converted the reception into a first down. But the next pass was intercepted by William Parra who returned the ball to the Warrior 37.
“We’ve got to play better, we’ve got to execute—a lot of the mistakes we gave them,” said Warriors coach Mario Robinson whose team trailed 14-0 going into the second quarter.
The Panorama City Valiants capitalized on the Warriors mistakes, with Rodriquez finding Kobe Mendez in the end zone for a seven-yard score to put the visitors up 21-0. Once again, Carpinteria was unable to move the ball on offense, and St. Gens took possession at midfield following a Warrior punt. A few plays later, Taufahema sprinted 37 yards to the end zone for a 28-0 lead, carrying the four-touchdown advantage into the second half.
Hernandez returned the second-half kickoff 46 yards, giving Carpinteria a first down at midfield. For much of the evening, the senior was the Warriors’ main source of offense, tallying 137 yards on six returns. But Canales seized a deflected pass out of the air for an interception, racing 55 yards to the house, and the score grew to 35-0.
“They’re a good team, they had a lot more speed and size than we did and they took advantage of it,” said Robinson. “The biggest thing is that we gotta play harder.”
Camdan McWright added a 62-yard touchdown jaunt to make it 42-0, and the score remained the same heading into the final quarter. But lightning struck for the Warriors when running back Will Collins darted 90 yards off tackle into the end zone to put his team on the board with 8:24 left in the game.
“It was a ‘big backs right, 26 power,’ my line opened it up for me, it was a perfect hole,” said Collins. Collins gained 119 yards on 11 carries for the game and has scored six touchdowns on the season.
Mendez completed seven of 18 for 30 yards and Jacob Mata led all Carpinteria receivers with four receptions for 21 yards. For the Valiants: Rodriguez was 16 of 19 and passed for 113 yards, Taufahema ran for 135 yards on just seven carries, and Canales brought down five catches for 66 yards. The Warriors host Nordhoff tomorrow night, Friday, Sept. 20, in their Citrus Coast League opener. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.