When Jared Jenkins hit Isaiah Veal on a 55-yard score in the fourth quarter Friday night, it appeared Clark was going to get its first football win in over a year.
Twenty-three seconds later, that thought quickly left.
Spring Valley dialed up a long touchdown pass of its own, as Mason DeCunzo found Marco Godinez on a 58-yard strike, and the Grizzlies held on for a 22-15 road win to open Southwest League play.
“We needed a signature win,” said Spring Valley coach Marcus Teal, whose team’s lone win before Friday came via forfeit. “It’s always good to go into someone else’s backyard and take their lemonade. We thought we would have a win before now, but to open league play with a win is always nice.”
The Grizzlies (2-2, 1-0 Southwest League) had a chance to put the game out of reach, but Godinez fumbled a snap and Clark’s Brett Arquette recovered at the Chargers 32-yard line with 3:07 left in the fourth.
Clark (0-4, 0-1) drove to the Spring Valley 37, but two straight incompetions by Jenkins ended the final chance.
The Chargers dominated the opening period, gaining 121 yards to Spring Valley’s -11. Clark had a safety and a Jenkins 4-yard keeper to take an 8-0 lead.
Spring Valley, without a first down in the opening frame, answered with Godinez’s first score, an 8-yard reception from DeCunzo. After a 2-point conversion, the game was knotted at 8-8.
On its first possession of the third quarter, Spring Valley marched 61 yards in 11 plays taking over four minutes capped by a eight-yard run from Tavon Scott giving the Grizzlies a 14-8 cushion.
But Clark didn’t quit, and took the lead again thanks to a 90-yard drive, ending with the Jenkins-to-Veal score.
Jenkins completed 12 of 31 passes for 167 yards, and Antwan McClure added 87 yards on 13 tries for the Chargers.
DeCunzo threw for 132 yards and added 100 yards on 18 carries for Spring Valley. Godinez caught five passes for 119 yards and two touchdowns, and also had an interception and a 41-yard kickoff return for the Grizzlies.