Silverado’s first year in the Southwest League had not been very pleasant.
A longtime mainstay in the Southeast, the Skyhawks opened play in the Southwest with three losses. And in those three games, Silverado was averaging just 148 yards and just more than 7 points a game on offense, while giving up 437 yards and 35 points per game on defense.
But Friday against Spring Valley, the Skyhawks played like they had had enough.
Silverado erupted for five first-half touchdowns on the way to rolling over the visiting Grizzlies 42-7 and earning its first Southwest win.
Jacob Mendez, who rushed for 163 yards and four touchdowns, said Silverado had a different mindset against Friday.
“We had to come out and prove ourselves and show the team that played the last three weeks was not the real Silverado football team,” said Mendez.
It didn’t take long Friday for Mendez and Skyhawks (3-4, 1-3 Southwest) to look like a different team.
After a long kickoff return to open the game, Mendez gave Silverado the lead just 36 seconds in, scoring on a 14-yard run on the Skyhawks’ second play. Mendez capped the Skyhawks’ second drive with a 20-yard touchdown run.
Breven Palpallatoc ran for a 35-yard touchdown and finished with 84 rushing yards. He added the 2-point conversion run that made it 22-0, and with four minutes left in the first quarter, the Skyhawks had nearly matched their scoring output in those first three league games combined.
In the end. Silverado outgained the Grizzlies 318-106.
“I just think we really came out ready to play,” said Mendez. “We had a really good week of practice and were really focused and wanted to prove something.”
That focus also extended to the defensive side of the ball, as the Skyhawks forced four turnovers by Spring Valley (2-5, 1-2).
“Coach told us to come out and hit hard,” said Tyler Green, who had two interceptions. “The focus was to let nothing behind us. No completed passes, nothing. … It’s our homecoming game, so we had to come out and shine for our school.”
Mendez said the team understood it would have to win its last three games to have any shot at making the playoffs.
“We had to come out from the start tonight and show we mean business,” said Mendez. “Now we just have to go into next week like we did in this one. We know it’s now or never.”