Arbor View repeated a little history and made sure a little more would not repeat on Thursday night.
Behind hard, smart running from senior tailback Kyle Graham, the Aggies dominated host Palo Verde to complete their fifth consecutive unbeaten Northwest League campaign with a 49-0 victory.
Arbor View (9-1, 6-0 Northwest) will again be the Northwest’s top seed when the playoffs begin next week and will host Mojave.
“Good stuff,” Arbor View coach Dan Barnson said. “This has always been a big rivalry. For all of my 12 years.”
Palo Verde is the last Northwest team to beat the Aggies, who ran their league winning streak to 26 games. That loss came in November 2013.
“It’s pretty cool,” Barnson said. “Even if we are unfortunate later, and lose in the playoffs, we have a streak going into next year.”
Graham and company ran over the Panthers (5-4, 3-3).
Sophomore Jack Barnham completed both of his passes. Barnham found Justin Hausner for a 28-yard touchdown throw with 8 minutes, 4 seconds left in the second quarter. He found Hausner again for a 40-yard score with 7:17 left in the third quarter.
That first touchdown pass put Arbor View up 21-0 at the time. After Palo Verde fumbled the ensuing kickoff at its own 28-yard line, Graham finished it off for the Aggies, capping a nine-play march with an 11-yard scoring run.
It was his third of the game and part of a 16-carry, 138-yard first half. In all, Arbor View rang up 264 yards of total offense in the first half to just 34 yards for the Panthers.
The Aggies finished with 331 yards on the ground, despite a running clock for the entire second half.
“I can kind of see they were still keying on me,” Graham said. “But as long as my guys (up front) are doing their jobs, and I keep doing my job, we’re good.”
Arbor View outgained the Panthers 399-104, and 69 of Palo Verde’s total yards came in the final 7 minutes of the game. Nate Kuryliw led the Panthers with 29 yards on five carries, all in the second half.
Branham started his second consecutive game in place of senior quarterback Logan Bollinger. Bollinger continues to nurse a sore ankle after suffering an injury two weeks ago.
With the running game breaking off huge chunks of yardage, Bollinger’s absence hasn’t been detrimental.
“Palo is a great team,” Graham said. “Honestly, I thought this would a lot closer. But we just came out and played.”