Bonanza quarterback Kyle Allison took the team’s motto “Make a Play, and Do Your Job” to heart Friday night as he led the Bengals (2-2) to a 20-13 win over rival Spring Valley in the annual Banner Game.
The senior completed 9-of-17 passes for 117 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for 110 yards on 18 carries – many of which came on crucial third downs to keep drives alive.
“For this offense, I’m the focal point of it,” Allison said. “I have to be that guy. I have to make a play and I have to do my job. I feel like I did that tonight. I trust my guys. My line did a heck of a job blocking, and receivers did a heck of a job blocking. We all did our job – 11 men working in unison, nothing better than that.
“We have so many seniors hungry this year … and we wanted it. It feels so good to get this banner back.”
The win snaps a two-game losing streak in which the Bengals blew leads against Silverado and Chaparral. Bonanza’s victory over Spring Valley also avenges a close home loss to the Grizzlies (0-3) in 2017.
“We know what we did wrong,” Allison said. “We didn’t put any points up in the second half and that was the problem. We had to come out and put points up on the second half, and we did that.”
Both teams hit on big scoring plays in the first 32 seconds of the second quarter.
Bonanza scored on the first play of the when Cevion Gurka took a sweep around the left end 60 yards for a score. Spring Valley’s Frank Bartley responded by returning the ensuing kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown.
Both teams would followed with touchdowns after long scoring drives. Allison connected with Armani Burns on a 10-yard scoring strike for the Bengals, and Tavon Scott scored on a 15-yard run for the Grizzlies to make the score 13-13 at halftime.
The Bengals took the lead for good late in the third quarter when Allison connected with Shamarion Bellegarde on a 30-yard scoring strike. He caught four passes for 66 yards.
“(Kyle’s) our senior. I mean, he’s a two-year starter and we put it on his back,” Bengals coach Dion Lee said. “He threw the ball where he had to and ran when he had to run, and that was the key to us winning – (Kyle) taking charge and running the ball. “
Spring Valley did not threaten again as the Bengals stiffened defensively in the second half, limiting the Grizzlies to 38 yard total yards. The Bengals also sacked Spring Valley quarterback Mason DeCunzo twice and forced a turnover that set up what turned into the game-winning score.
The Bengals’ defense also only allowed one touchdown.
“It feels good. We had a game plan coming here, and did exactly what we wanted to do,” Lee said. “It’s building confidence. We’re 2-2. Going in to (Northwest League play) next week and it’s a great win. We could easily be 4-0. … Now we’re ready to go roll in league. Let’s get it.”