The two halves in this game were complete opposites. The first was filled with long drives that ate up the clock, where each one really counted. While the second was a back and forth battle with quick scores, turnovers and plenty of exceitment.
Apollo got out to a quick start, forcing a punt and then taking just one play to put points on the board, the only points of the first quarter. Junior QB Jon Brown raced 58 yards for a score to give Apollo a 7-0 lead at the end of one.
The Hawks forced a turnover on downs after Moon Valley moved the ball into scoring position but couldn't convert. What ensued was a 6 minute drive by Apollo capped off on a Brown to David Gonzales 35 yard TD pass. Brown found Aaron Burnett on the to-point conversion to give Apollo a 15-0 lead.
Moon Valley then strung together a six minute drive of their own, scoring just before halftime, to keep the game close. QB Keith George came up big during the drive, completing several 3rd down passes to keep this drive alive. After marching down the field, George found Josh Carlon in the endzone with just a few ticks left on the clock. Offenive guard Vi Teofilo moved to fullback and scored the two-point conversion to cut the score to 15-8 Apollo at the half.
Teofilo sparked the Moon Valley team and crowd at the beginning of the second half, intercepting a Brown pass and rumbling 30 yards for a score. The two-point was no good. 15-14 Apollo.
The Hawks then went on another time consuming drive and scored with 1:45 left in the third. Brown hooked up with star receiver Chrisdeon Ayiyi two times on third down, including a 15 yarder that gave Apollo a 22-14 lead.
Moon Valley stayed resilient, following up with a score of their own on a George to Devon Parrott TD pass. Two-point was no good. 22-20.
After an Apollo punt, Moon Valley got the ball back with some momentum but that came to end an when when Apollo's Samuel Martinez forced a fumble and recovered it at the 13 yard line. Running back Richie Martinez raced in from 10 yards out with 6 minutes to go to give Apollo a 29-20 lead and an apparent victory.
It took Moon Valley all of two plays to cut the lead back to two. George ran right for a 15 yard gain that was topped off by a 15 yard facemask penalty against AHS. George then found Josh Carlon in stride on the very next play and with just 22 seconds taken off the clock, The Rockets cut the lead back to two.
The Moon defense stepped up huge, forcing a three and out; giving their offense a chance with 3:40 left to play.
George and senior WR Andrew Kohl took over on the next drive, hooking up four times on the drive sandwhiched between several key George runs. Then with 1:06 to play, George found a seem and ran 7 yards for a score. Again the two-point was no good but Moon Valley had their first and only lead of the game 33-29.
Apollo made things interesting moving the ball as close as te 27 yard line but was never able to get the winning score.
Final: MV 33 AHS 29
I went into this game expecting to leave at halftime. With Apollo scoring big points against nearly every opponent and Moon Valley carrying just 23 players on their roster, I expected a big Hawks win. Boy was I wrong.
These two QBs put on a show and I saw one of the most exciting games I have seen all year. Most know about Brown but I think George is a real sleeper. He played a heck of a game.
I would expect both of these teams to be playoff bound
I want to give two game balls out. The first goes to Moon Valley QB Keith George; he was spectacular. He was part of four of the five Moon Valley TDs as well as a two-point coversion and was a threat on the ground as well as in the air.
Got to give love to lineman Vi Teofilo. The big fella had an INT that he took to the house and then had every lineman's dream, when he lined up in the backfield and rumbled in for a two-point conversion. He had several carries during the game and had some success carrying the ball.