YUCCA VALLEY — The Yucca Valley Trojan football team fell to the Indio Rajas 32-0 here Friday night, Sept. 21.
After receiving the opening boot, the Trojans attempted to mount a ground attack but punted away after one series of downs.
From mid-field, the Rajas had similar offensive frustrations and kicked away. After encountering more tough defense, the Trojans punted again.
Starting from their own 10-yard line, the Rajas opened an air offensive that reigned in the evening’s first touchdown with 3:29 left in the first quarter, but a conversion attempt failed.
After a Trojan fumble, then a 15 yard ref walk against Yucca Valley for face-masking, the Rajas ran one in with 7:41 left in the half. Again the 2-point conversion was nixed for a 12-zip Indio lead.
A personal foul for a late hit moved the ball half the distance to the goal line to the Trojan five. With 25 seconds left in the half on a first and goal, Indio scored again on an aerial. Opting this time for a kick, Indio advanced to 19 on Yucca Valley’s goose egg.
An Indio pass pick-off with 15 seconds on the clock further distanced the visitors from the home team, ending the half at 25-0.
Nine penalties walked off against Yucca Valley in the first half alone killed any momentum the offense tried to mount.
The Trojans totaled 87 offensive yards in the first half while the Rajas put up 214 yards.
Junior running back Logan Vallo was ready to break for big yardage every time he got the ball, but the line was unable to protect their runner from the bigger opponents.
Vallo found the end zone with 4:34 left in the third quarter, but a holding penalty negated the score. Yucca’s defense held Indio to just 9 yards in the scoreless third quarter. Meanwhile, Yucca Valley totaled 60 third-quarter yards, including the called-back TD.
The pre-season loss came at the hands of a heavier team; the Rajas had several pounds on their counterparts at nearly every position.
Trojan athletic director Larry Thomas said after the game the Rajas got off to an early lead and rode the wave.
The loss lowers the Trojan’s record to 2 and 3 in preseason. The Trojans get a bye next week between pre-season and league play, then face Shadow Hills for homecoming.
“We’ll be healthy and fired up,” Thomas pledged.