Spring Valley coach Kelly Murphy preached to his players how important a high-energy start would be at Sierra Vista on Friday.
Presumably the Grizzlies will now address slow finishes.
Spring Valley scored on its first two possessions and gained a 28-0 halftime lead while beating the Mountain Lions 35-14.
But the Grizzlies also let off the gas in the second half, being held to 118 yards after a 217-yard first half. Also, they were penalized 11 times, costing them 106 yards.
“We came out on fire, which is what we stressed in practice,” Murphy said. “However, we have to learn to have that type of effort for four quarters. Sierra Vista wasn’t going to quit, and they got after it in the second half.
“I don’t mind if the kids play at 100 miles per hour. But some of those penalties killed good drives. Work in the film room will help those penalties.”
The Grizzlies (2-1, 1-0 Southwest) won their second in a row, scoring on three long plays in the first half. Anton Stallworth’s 47-yard pass to Khoa Nguyen was the first of the big plays, capping a 65-yard possession.
Spring Valley also scored in the first half on Jeremy Geary’s 3-yard run, Taj Allen’s 74-yard interception return and Brandon Lopez’s 64-yard run. Geary’s touchdown followed a fumble recovery.
The teams swapped scores to begin the second half. Sierra Vista (0-3, 0-2) marched 74 yards in 10 plays, with Dontrell Hall running in from 5 yards, but Spring Valley’s Sedale Lott answered with a 4-yard run to make it 35-7. Hall added a late TD on a 17-yard pass from Sedarion Campbell.
Lott led the Grizzlies’ ground game with 66 yards. Lopez had 64 and Allen 62. For Sierra Vista, Dontrell Hall rushed for 150 yards on 11 carries despite a shoulder injury that often required medical attention. Johnathan Hall supplied 100 yards on 22 carries.