YUCCA VALLEY — The visiting Barstow Aztecs used their size advantage to wear down Yucca Valley 38-9 in the Trojans’ home football opener Friday, Sept. 14.
The Trojans didn’t help their cause, as they gave away great field position to the visitors, first with the opening kickoff, which was a hard ground ball that did not clear the Barstow front line and gave them the ball at their own 42. The Aztecs moved the ball to the Yucca Valley 15, where the Trojan defense held and the Aztecs had to settle for a field goal, making it Barstow 3-0 at the 9-minute mark.
Yucca Valley received the ensuing kick off and moved the ball to near its own 40-yard line before surrendering the ball to the Aztecs on an interception.
Barstow scored its first touchdown at the 5:56 mark and went ahead 10-0, and that’s how the first quarter ended.
The Trojans did not cross midfield until the 11-minute mark of the second quarter. A good Yucca Valley drive ended at the Barsow 20, where a fake field goal was no good and the Aztecs had the ball at their own 20.
On the first play from scrimmage, an Aztec running back ripped off an 80-yard run for their second touch and the score went to 17-0 in favor of the visitors.
Yucca Valley scored on a field goal with less than a minute left in the first half to make it 17-3.
Again, the Trojans attempted a squib kick and again the Aztecs had good field position, but time was running out in the first half. Undaunted by the clock, the Aztecs hit a 25-yard pass. It took a great interception by Brian McGowan at the Trojan goal line to save the Trojans from another Barstow touchdown. The half ended 17-3 in favor of Barstow.
Logan Vallo hit paydirt for Troy in the final quarter at the 9:30 mark. The 2-point point-after-touchdown try failed and the Trojans pulled to 9-24.
Vallo also had a 70-yard touchdown run called back due to a Yucca Valley penalty.
Even though the final score appears to be lopsided, the Trojans had some bright spots on defense. Joey Rutherford recovered two Aztec fumbles and on offense, Vallo, Bradley Soares and McGowan made some great plays. Tight end Cody McBride caught a highlight-worthy slant pass.
Overall, the Trojan defense was solid against a much bigger team, but in the end, they could not overcome poor field position and the short field the Aztecs got again and again.