After giving up key big plays in its season-opening loss at Bonanza two weeks ago, Silverado’s defense had a deja-vu moment in Friday’s home opener.
With just under two minutes left in the first quarter, Valley’s Kennedy Williams took a backwards pass off a bounce and raced 66-yards for a touchdown to tie the game at 6-6.
But that was the only big play given up by the Skyhawk defense, which limited the Vikings to 122 yards the rest of the game, and kept Valley out of the endzone in the fourth quarter to secure a 21-12 victory.
“Defensively we were a lot better than the first week. But we still have some big holes,” Silverado coach Andy Ostolaza said. “Right now we aren’t very good, but hopefully we are getting better.”
After giving up more than 300 passing yards in its first game, Silverado held Valley to 83 yards passing. The Skyhawks (1-1) tallied six sacks, with senior defensive end Coty Iwata leading the way with three.
“Between him and our other defensive ends, they are the anchors of our defense,” Ostolaza said.
While the defense showed improvement, Ostolaza said his offense struggled up front.
“Offensively we sputtered,” Ostolaza said. “We have to get a lot better line play. That’s our big thing right now.”
Despite the line problems, senior running back Izaiah Thurmon rushed for more than 100 yards in his second straight game, finishing with 130 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries to power the Skyhawks.
Thurmon’s 10-yard touchdown run midway thought the second quarter gave Silverado the lead for good, 14-6.
The Skyhawks appeared to seize control at the start of the third quarter. Valley fumbled on a bad exchange on a handoff on the third play after halftime, and Silverado’s Gary Nixon recovered.
Three plays later, Deandre Gause scored on a 5-yard run to push the Skyhawk lead to 21-6.
But Valley (0-2) rallied. After being held to just a pair of first downs, the Vikings put together a 13-play, 76-yard drive that lasted seven minutes.
Viking quarterback Anthony Sanders capped the drive on the last play of the third quarter by hitting Erik Edmonds with an 11-yard TD pass on fouth-and-goal to trim the Silverado lead to nine.
But Silverado’s defense — which also blocked both of Valley’s extra point attempts — limited the Vikings to 48 yards in the fourth quarter, and Valley never threatened again.