Valley Christian Academy's guys gave up a lot of points Saturday night, but the Lions scored a fair amount more.
The bottom line was a 67-44 season-opening win VCA over Lebec Frazier Mountain (0-2) in a cross-section game at VCA.
The game was originally scheduled for Friday night at Frazier Mountain, but because of trouble getting available officials for that night, the game was moved to Saturday night at VCA.
"It was good to get (the first game) out of the way, good to get a win," said Tyler McCoy after the junior had been busy making plays on both sides of the ball.
On offense, McCoy threw for four touchdowns and ran for two more, on sneaks, at quarterback. McCoy, at cornerback was also a leader on defense.
Two of their starters were suspended for the game, but the Lions persevered. "We had some new players, and they got in there and fought," said McCoy, VCA's second-year starter at quarterback. "I'm proud of them."
The Valley Christian Academy Lions are preparing for life on the road.
The same three guys who dropped what should have been a touchdown pass from McCoy on the same series (the Lions ultimately lost the ball on downs), hung on to the ball on defense, and that helped the home team win.
Caleb Young, Jamin Magness and then Jared Moore dropped successive passes, all of which should have been a McCoy touchdown pass.
All three of them, on defense, intercepted Frazier Mountain quarterback Chris Burket-Thoen. Young made a pick off a deflection and, when McCoy uncorked a pass to him on second down, this time Young held on to the ball for a 39-yard scoring play.
Moore bobbled the ball on the two-point conversion pass, but then grabbed it and the try was good.
Magness grabbed a Burket-Thoen pass and ran 66 yards with it for a score. Moore's interception set up a 20-yard McCoy-to-Moore touchdown pass.
"That's making up for your mistakes," said VCA coach Pete Fortier. In all, the Lions intercepted Burket-Thoen four times.
The Lions' main problem was, they had trouble corralling Burket-Thoen and Carlos Orellana when those two had their hands on the ball.
Burket-Thoen threw two touchdown passes to Orellana, and Orellana, besides picking up a VCA fumble and running 46 yards with it for a score, ran for two touchdowns on offense. Burket-Thoen also ran for a score.
"In practice this week, our focus is going to be tackling, and tackling low," said Fortier.
Orellana and Burket-Thoen in particular often made the Lions pay for high tackle attempts.
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For all that, though, the Lions gained 215 yards on the ground, and McCoy threw for 184 more.
Magness, with 98 hard-earned yards and two five-yard scoring runs, was the leading rusher in the game. He also caught three touchdown passes from McCoy, including a 50-yarder on the third play from scrimmage.
He would have had another, but a block in the back foul nullified that.
Besides bolstering the Lions running game with his blocking, Matthew Hollihan ran for 68 yards and a score. McCoy ran for 48 more.
Josiah Heller consistently created holes for the Lions backs with his blocking at center. Heller helped anchor VCA's offensive line. He also recovered three Frazier Mountain onside kicks in the fourth quarter after the Falcons' first onside kick was successful.
The Lions finally closed out the game when an onside kick of their own bounced off a Falcon and they recovered the ball with 1:46 left.
Frazier Mountain took a brief 8-7 lead in the first quarter when Burket-Thoene ran in the two-point conversion after hitting Orellana for a 34-yard touchdown pass. Magness put the Lions ahead for good with his first five-yard scoring run on the next possession.
VCA will host Laton at 7 p.m. next Friday night in another cross-section game.
Women's cross country
FRESNO — 2018 Southern Cal meet qualifier Michele Marceleno led the Hancock College runners. She finished in 64th place, in 22 minutes, 57 seconds over the 5K course.
Scoring teammates following were Sierra Skinner (68th place), Mireya Martinez (85th), Yasmin Mendez (89th) and Rachel Mallory (92nd).
"The girls ran really well," said Hancock coach Louie Quintana. "I was happy with the times and the results."
Boys water polo
Pioneer Valley Invitational
Pebble Beach Stevenson defeated San Jose Willow Glen 11-4 to win the tournament championship at host Pioneer Valley's pool.
Fresno San Joaquin Memorial beat the host team 11-4 for third place. Angel Aguilar scored three times for Pioneer valley.