Monday Morning Lights: After 84-0 loss, Ygnacio Valley football coach blasts College Park

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84-0: ‘It was kind of sad, bro’

On one side, it felt as if the opponent was piling up points that crossed the line of sportsmanship. On the other, the margin of victory underscored the disparity between football teams within a league comprised of mostly Contra Costa County schools.

The final score Friday night: College Park 84, Ygnacio Valley 0.

For Ygnacio Valley coach Rae Jackson, the result was only part of the problem. In an interview with the Bay Area News Group on Saturday night, he said, “I truly believe they were trying to put up 100 points, man. After the game, they went underneath the scoreboard and they were taking pictures.”

Jackson noted that College Park was running gimmick plays on conversion attempts, was called for four excessive celebration penalties and kept trying to score even as the margin got out of hand.

“Listen, man, they were running trick plays on two-point conversions,” said Jackson, who is in his first season as Ygnacio Valley’s head coach. “C’mon man. Trick plays on two-point conversions?”

College Park athletic director James Keck disputed Jackson’s claim about gadget plays in an email to the Bay Area News Group on Sunday. “We did not run any trick plays all game,” he said. The AD added, “It is never our intention in any athletic competition to run up a score or humiliate an opponent.”

Keck said his football program itself is learning how to win and enjoy success respectfully.

“We will be talking with our team about celebrating,” Keck said. “College Park has struggled for several years and is finally building our program to a level where we can compete for league championships and hopefully beyond. As our football kids, who have experienced past disappointment, begin to experience success, we need to guide them on how to win with grace. The sheer excitement of winning needs to be assuaged with respect for our opponents.

“I have been on the other side of those lopsided wins as both a player and coach and know how it feels. I apologize to YV and their players if they felt disrespected. Be assured that was not the intent and I am proud to have YV at our stadium competing with the 19 young men that were there playing with heart and determination the entire game.”

College Park coach Travis Raciti, who is in his second season, said Saturday morning that his team strives to play with “class and respect.” All 45 players on his active roster got into the game and the clock ran continuously in the second half.

“Nothing but gratitude and admiration toward Ygnacio Valley as a school (my sister is a graduate and alum) as a football program and to their coaching staff and student-athletes,” Raciti wrote in a text.

Jackson is trying to come to grips with what unfolded for his team, which is winless in eight games this season and has been outscored 408-61. Ygnacio Valley is 0-3 in the Diablo Athletic League’s Valley Division.

“He might have thought that what he was doing he did it in class and taste,” Jackson said. “I just know that with football, we teach these men about life. What life is, in terms of how you deal with it. It was kind of sad, bro. They were up 50 in the first half, and they kind of knew that we weren’t at their level.”

College Park ran 23 offensive plays (12 runs, 11 passes), according to Keck. Of its seven completed passes, six were touchdowns. College Park scored 12 touchdowns overall, including two by the defense on fumble returns and another on special teams, as it improved to 5-3, 3-0.

The loss was Ygnacio Valley’s 22nd in a row dating to 2019.

College Park has won 12 of the past 14 games and four in a row between the teams. The largest margin of victory before Friday for College Park was 49-0 in 2018. Ygnacio Valley’s two wins in that stretch came in 2017 (34-24) and 2008 (36-13).

“It was an unpleasant feeling for my young men, who we’re trying to teach a game that I love so much, that can help them structure and handle their life in the right way,” Jackson said. “It was kind of a sad situation.

“But to credit my guys, they fought to the end and they fought as best as they could. There was a moment late in the half when they did give up. And then we had a halftime talk and they came out and were able to finish the game.”

— Joseph Dycus, Jesús Cano and Darren Sabedra

Clayton Valley: Grunt mentality is back

The moment Clayton Valley’s season turned around was probably in the two-week window before the Jesuit of Carmichael game. Coach Tim Murphy’s team had dropped its third game of the season, all by one score, and had an extra week to prepare for Jesuit.

Murphy knew something had to change.

“I snapped after the Turlock game because I was probably trying to be a little too patient with this group,” Murphy said, referencing the 35-33 loss. “I had to put back the grunt mentality, and they responded very well.”

Ever since this shift in coaching philosophy, the Ugly Eagles have looked like one of the best teams in the Bay Area. Starting with a 35-21 win at Jesuit, Clayton Valley has strung together four straight wins, all by double-digit margins.

At around the same time that Murphy lost his patience, the team’s passing attack began to convalesce behind quarterback Christian Aguilar. Murphy said that the shift from run-centric to an air-raid spread took time, and maybe a bit too much patience. 

“I think it happened after we got our road win at Jesuit,” star receiver Daven Amos said about how long it took for the offense to come together. “From there, we started rolling and that’s when I felt like we clicked on offense.”

After a 49-14 win against California on Friday, the Ugly Eagles set their sights on Monte Vista.

Clayton Valley plays host to De La Salle on Nov. 4 to close the regular season — a matchup that could decide who is a Top 2 seed in the NCS Open/Division I playoffs and who might drop to No. 3 — but Murphy isn’t looking beyond next week’s game.

“They’re good enough to beat us, and that’s all we have to be concerned with,” the longtime coach said.

— Joseph Dycus

De La Salle: Good update after a frightening scene

After De La Salle’s third touchdown Friday night, one of its players, junior Kaleo Augustin, was injured on the kickoff. He stayed down for several minutes as EMTs were called to the team’s field.

Augustin eventually got up, walked to the stretcher and was taken by ambulance to a hospital. Before the game against Monte Vista ended, he rejoined his teammates on the sideline.

“They cleared me at Kaiser and my dad drove me back to watch the rest of the game,” Augustin said Saturday.

X-Rays were negative and he had full movement, according to coach Justin Alumbaugh.

“He’s going to be back next week, thankfully,” Alumbaugh added. “He’s been like a scout team dynamo. He’s one of our guys. He wanted to make sure that we put the right scout guys in.”

De La Salle beat Monte Vista 41-3.

— Darren Sabedra

Former Gunn coach keeps winning

Jason Miller might just be a miracle man on a football field. The Southern California native took over a struggling Gunn program in 2018 and led the Palo Alto school to a 25-10 record and two Santa Clara Valley Athletic El Camino Division championships.

The Titans were 8-2 last fall.

He stepped down last spring after four seasons to take over another struggling program, Bellflower, and has worked miracles again with his double-wing offense. He turned the Los Angeles-area school into a league champion with an 8-2 record.

Bellflower was 3-20 in the previous three seasons.

Unfortunately for Gunn, it has not been able to sustain the results that Miller achieved. The Titans are 0-8 and had to forfeit a game on Oct. 14 against Sequoia because they did not have enough healthy players to play. On the field, Gunn has been shut out six times and outscored 332-10.

— Darren Sabedra

Piedmont: Done now, but not forever

Piedmont has canceled the remainder of its season because of low numbers but plans to field a team next season. The Highlanders have not played since Sept. 23 against St. Mary’s-Berkeley.

The JV season will continue. 

“We already had all of the sophomores that were physically able to play varsity up with us,” coach Jordan Seiden told the Bay Area News Group in an email. “I was not going to play kids that were not ready for it. That’s reckless and dangerous and I would not put anyone’s child in that situation.”

For the seniors whose high school careers are being cut short, Seiden said the school is making plans to celebrate them during the JV game against Kennedy-Richmond on Nov. 4.

“Their coach, Greg Marshall, graciously offered to play the game at Piedmont and make it a night game (if we are able to do so) to make it as memorable as possible despite not being able to play a full season,” Seiden said.

Stay tuned.

— Joseph Dycus

Live Oak: Jordan Fuentes uses his vision

Jordan Fuentes ran the ball 33 times for 249 yards and two touchdowns in Live Oak’s 42-14 rout of Lincoln-San Jose, and he was not in a hurry on any of those carries.

“I’m patient, and I let the blocks develop and let my line do what they do best,” Fuentes said. “They seal off their guys and I just run based off what they’re doing. They make reads and cuts easy for me.” 

Many of those successful carries came off a play called “Stretch,” a scheme in which the linemen block horizontally and Fuentes got to pick which hole he ran through. Coach Mike Gemo called that play over and over, and Fuentes was not bothered by the large workload. 

“In my mind, I don’t think I’m ever tired,” Fuentes said. “I just think that I have to run, that we have to play and get this win. I’m kind of like a machine on the field.

— Joseph Dycus

Peek ahead to Week 10


Bellarmine (3-5) at St. Francis (5-3), 7 p.m.: St. Francis has won the past six Holy War games against Bells.

Pittsburg (7-1) at Heritage (6-2), 7 p.m.: Pittsburg closing in on another Bay Valley Athletic League title.

Granada (4-4) at Foothill (5-4), 7 p.m.: Foothill clinches EBAL Valley Division crown with a win.

Mt. Eden (5-3) at Berkeley (5-3), 7 p.m.: This one has MVAL/WACC Mission Division title implications.

Las Lomas (4-4) at Campolindo (8-0), 7 p.m.: Las Lomas can move into a tie for first place with the upset.

The King’s Academy (6-2) at Sequoia (8-0), 7 p.m.: Winner captures PAL/SCVAL El Camino Division crown.

— Darren Sabedra

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