Green Valley came out inspired.
The Gators came out motivated.
The effort was there but they couldn’t leave Arbor View with a victory, the Aggies were just too overpowering en route to a 28-10 victory.
It was imperative for Green Valley to be able to dedicate a victory to their injured teammate, LaQuan Phillips.
They wore “LP3” on their helmets to honor Phillips while he recovers from paralysis that all hope is temporary after he was injured in a collision with a Centennial player on Sept. 5.
Host Arbor View exhibited sportsmanship by saluting Phillips by have his No. 3 on their helmets and meeting the Gators at midfield before the game where they mixed into one line that ran from 20 to 20 during the National Anthem.
After getting a 37-yard field from Nolan Kohorst on their first possession the Gators couldn’t have hoped for a better start.
But it wasn’t to be, even though they led 10-7 early in the second quarter.
Arbor View’s defense and powerful running game were too much for even the most inspired team.
The Aggies’ DeMarlo Virgil rushed for 141 yards and sophomore Taylor Wooten added 119 and the running game was unstoppable.
Their defense gave up only one touchdown for the third straight game as they ran their record to 3-0.
The vaunted double-wing of Arbor View coach Dan Barnson racked up 239 yards on 26 carries in the first half and totaled 357 for the game.
Wooten scored on two runs and Virgil scored on a 7-yard run and closed the scoring by taking a 5-yard pass from quarterback Austin Jackson in the last quarter.
Green Valley led 10-7 in the second quarter before falling behind 21-10 at halftime.
Arbor View has not allowed more than one touchdown in any of its victories and the 10 points by the Gators was the most scored on the Aggies this season.
“We were playing heavy because of LaQuan, but we had to come out here and play,” said Virgil, a junior. “We all ran hard and they played hard. It was a great game.”
“We have four of five kids who can really run the ball,” Barnson said.
He’s thankful of starting the season 3-0 but is equally happy to learn that Phillips is regaining some feeling and soon will be flown to a rehabilitation center in Denver for further treatment and therapy.
“If something like that ever happened to one of my kids I don’t know how I’d handle it,” Barnson said.
“In the big picture we’re all one team. He was part of our team tonight. That’s why both teams stood together before the game.
“It was a moving moment. Hopefully it teaches these kids too that (life is) a lot more that just about football.”