MODESTO – If you elect to gamble, be ready to gamble.
Big Valley Christian followed that axiom last week, and the payoff was rich.
The Lions opted for the 2-point conversion – and the win – after their touchdown with 12 seconds left closed the deficit to 21-20 at Central California Athletic Alliance rival Stone Ridge Christian of Merced.
Coach Brian Berkefeld decided midway through the fourth quarter that BVC would roll the dice if it had the chance. When opportunity beckoned, the Lions trotted out a fake-conversion play they had practiced each Wednesday and Thursday for three years.
“We were on the road. It was a tough and physical game,” Berkefeld said during Monday’s meeting of the Modesto Quarterback Club. Sitting nearby were five BVC offensive linemen, special guests of the QB club, who agreed with the call.
“We just wanted to get out of there,” Berkefeld continued. “It felt like, ‘This was the time to run it.’”
Holder Izaiha Homa, the Big Valley Christian quarterback, took the snap and stepped to his left, then handed off to Zach Aloisio speeding in the opposite direction. Aloisio, presented with a run-pass option, drew the pressure and passed over the top to sophomore Dysen House for the deuce that sent the Lions home happy 22-21.
It was the perfect way for Big Valley Christian (3-3, 1-0) to begin the defense of its CCAA title. It also salved the wounds from three losses by a combined 20 points.
“After the tough losses we’ve had, it was great to be on the other side,” said Berkefeld, whose Lions welcome Millennium on Friday night.
QB CLUB NOTES – Gregori’s 26-6 victory over Modesto was helped by the debut of four transfers. Mario Hernandez, a safety who made the short-distance switch from Modesto Christian, intercepted two passes, one of them a pick-6 for the Jaguars’ closing score. Ty Streeter, formerly of Central Catholic, accounted for two touchdowns. Titus Rhiney rushed for 107 yards for the Jaguars (4-2, 1-0), who continue Central California Athletic League action at home vs. Pitman. … Enochs (4-2, 1-0) was powered by three touchdowns on defense to defeat Pitman 26-13. Joshua Quintana recovered a fumble in the end zone and Aggee Tombe and sophomore Abayomi Babalola returned interceptions for touchdowns, the highlights of seven Enochs turnovers. The Eagles prepare for their homecoming game against Downey. …
Edgar Ramirez, a junior, blocked a field-goal attempt in the final minutes to preserve Grace Davis’ 22-21 victory over Pacheco. The Spartans (5-1, 2-1) picked up six sacks and recovered three fumbles, two by Ramirez, and also clicked on a pair of 2-point conversions. Ramirez also caught a touchdown pass. Davis travels to Lathrop . … Minaya Olivo accounted for three touchdowns, one of them a long pass from Dalton Durossette as time expired in the first half, as Central Catholic (3-4, 3-0) took sole possession of first place in the Valley Oak League with an easy 56-12 victory over East Union. The Raiders, sparked on defense by the return of DB Jack Grisel, will be heavily favored Friday night at Weston Ranch. …
Johansen (5-1, 3-0), off to its best start in over two decades, scored the game’s final 27 points to turn back Ceres 46-20. “We came out and proved we’re not the Johansen of old,” said former Vikings coach Grant Genasci, subbing for coach Scott Sacuskie. Johansen hits the road for an important WAC game against Los Banos. … Beyer coach Greg Bockman praised the Patriots’ defense, which allowed only 15 rushing yards and forced five turnovers during its 25-6 win over Lathrop. Beyer (4-2, 3-0) also featured sophomore Darius Murphy who scored two touchdowns, one on a 66-yard reception. The Patriots meet Mountain House on Friday night at Downey.