The football team (2-1 preseason) will host the perennial powerhouse Valley Christian Warriors of the vaunted West Catholic Athletic League at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26.
“It doesn’t come any tougher than playing these guys,” said Scotts Valley High coach Louie Walters. “They’re a private school, they recruit, they have elite athletes and they’re consistently one of the top teams in Northern California.
“Their program is the type you try to model yourselves after,” he added. “It shows the kids and coaches what we need to become.”
Although the team has only three starters from last year’s squad, which finished runner-up to archrival Bellarmine in the Central Coast Section Open Division championship, the 2009 Warriors have picked up right where last year’s left off, topping San Leandro 24-7 and Menlo-Atherton 33-0 in the past two weeks.
One of Valley Christian’s advantages will be easy to spot Saturday: size on the lines on both sides of the ball, led by 6-foot-5, 327-pound Division I prospect Joseph Riggs. A beefy offensive front is the key to the Warriors’ offense, which is about as subtle as a brick in the face — a smash-mouth, pound-it-out running attack that wins the line of scrimmage and keeps on pushing.
The Warriors have a trio of ballcarriers, led by sophomore Byron Marshall, who was last year’s CCS Freshman of the Year. He has 241 yards on the ground so far this season in only 40 carries. Not far behind him are two other Warrior backfielders who have each notched 100-yard games, Darelled Jones and Tyler Eaton.
“Whatever happens at the end of the game, it’s not going to make or break our year,” Walters said of his team’s final preseason game. “But it’s a great test.”
The Falcons had a test of another sort last weekend, as Scotts Valley began rotating its non-starters into the Pajaro Valley game early in the second quarter.
The coaches liked what they saw in their depth players, especially linebacker Jeremy Kinstler. And plenty of Falcons shined offensively en route to their 461 total yards. Kick returner and receiver Ryan Estrada had three touchdowns, and receivers Aldin Barrett and Stephan Galewski had one each, as did running backs Drake Smith and Julio Vandierendonck