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La Joya overwhelms Monsoon for emotional win

Valley Vista loses region opener 48-7

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Valley Vista football rolled into Homecoming Oct. 4 from a cloud of purple haze, while the La Joya Lobos had already begun sharpening their fangs, following a tumultuous week.

Valley was the first to score a touchdown, only to get a holding flag on the play. La Joya was quick to get on the board, scoring their first touchdown of the game subsequent to the halfway point of the first quarter. Following senior tailback Alfred Jordan's second touchdown of the first quarter, the Lobos led 14-0.

The Avondale school closed ranks and used a week that landed the obscure program in the national headlines as fuel for a 48-7 rout. La Joya coach Devin Dourisseau resigned Sept. 30 after a disagreement with the school principal and athletic director over whether the Lobos 60-0 win against Copper Canyon Sept. 27 constituted running up the score.

Other La Joya coaches asked for Dourisseau to return and he was reinstated Oct. 3. Even an injury to star senior receiver Carlos Fernandez could not slow the visitors.

“We’ve been through a rough week. We stay together as a family. We remain a family. One of our brethren went down, and we played a little harder for him - our D1 prospect… We kept our eye on the prize,” Dourisseau said.

Penalties against the Monsoon started on the would-be touchdown and didn’t end anytime soon. After the game, Valley Vista coach Josh Sekock had one positive outlook on the loss compared to the rest of the season to come.

“There’s no possible way we can get that many penalties called on us again,” Sekoch said. 

Throughout the first quarter the tensions rose and the individuals on opposing teams tested each other more and more. La Joya received an unsportsmanlike conduct call nearing the end of the first. 

The start of the second quarter showed no change in the direction of the game, as La Joya earned another touchdown - on a pass to Fernandez - the first minute after it began.

The speed of the Lobos paired with solid hands of their receivers and a consistently strong arm on senior quarterback Miguel Valdovinos allowed for La Joya (4-2, 2-0 region) to easily control the tempo and outcome of the game.

Dourisseau said despite this tension, the team managed to come together under a strong sense of family and leadership in order to win the game. 

Only once was Valley Vista (3-3, 0-1) successful in making it into the end zone, doing so late in the second quarter. Junior quarterback Burton Delay connecter with senior receiver Zeke Alfonso for the score to cut the deficit to 21-7.

This was in part due to the fact that Valley Vista was unable to successfully execute on the offensive end during a majority of the game, while the Lobos were vigilant in shutting down their attempts.

Jordan added a third touchdown in the second half, while Valdovinos threw for his second and rushed for one.

Sekoch later commented on what his team lacked that night and what they’ll be sure to revive in the coming games.

“Hopefully we cover, block, and tackle better. We didn’t cover anybody, we didn’t tackle very well and we didn’t block very well. If you don’t do those three things, you don’t have a chance to win a game. That’s what football comes down to,” Sekoch said.

Editor's Note: Courtney Bird is a Valley Vista High School student

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