Saturday, Aug. 30, 2008 | midnight
- Strong defense leads Centennial to a 43-14 win over Durango (8-29-2008)
- Gorman wins big against Alaska (8-29-2008)
- Cimarron-Memorial rally falls short at home (8-29-2008)
- Coronado overcomes penalties to top Clark (8-29-2008)
- Despite loss, Desert Oasis has high hopes (8-29-2008)
- Wadsworth puts on show in Silverado’s win over Desert Pines (8-29-2008)
- Middlebrooks lifts Foothill to 49-14 rout (8-29-2008)
- Basic defeats longtime rival to maintain ‘The Jug’ (8-29-2008)
- Palo Verde blanks Reno, 56-0 (8-29-2008)
- Del Sol romps Vikings, 54-26 (8-29-2008)
- Other games: Shadow Ridge gets win over Chaparral (8-29-2008)
- All-Valley Pre-Season Team (8-28-2008)
With a touchdown late in the second quarter, the Green Valley High football team went up 14-13 on Bonanza Friday night in the season opener.
That score would mark the last time either team found the end zone as the game descended into a defensive showdown with the Gators pulling out the win.
The Gators held the Bengals to three rushing yards in the second half.
"I really like the way our defense played in the second half," Green Valley coach Matt Gerber said. "They broke up passes and took the run away. Bonanza just couldn't get much going because we kept clogging those lanes and breaking through."
Middle linebacker Brett Rather led the charge while Gerber cited corners Dallas Halasz and Stefan Newman as having fantastic nights at taking away the outside.
The Bengals struck first on the first drive of the game as sophomore quarterback Sterling Sprau connected with Aaron Simon for a 10-yard touchdown.
The Gators came back in the second quarter as senior quarterback Nick Libonati found receiver Kyle Larimer for a 15-yard score. The tie game was short lived as Bengal running back Antonio Beals ran 74 yards on the first play of the next drive to set-up a 1-yard touchdown run by Sprau. A missed extra point allowed the Gators took take the lead, and eventually the game, on a fourth-down 5-yard pass from Libonati to senior Skyler Holloway.
"I dropped back and saw (Bonanza) was blitzing so I rolled to my right," Libonati said. "I was just going to try to run it as far as I could but I saw Skyler get open and I just dumped it at the last second. He slid in and grabbed it."
Libonati would finish with 72 passing yards off seven completions.
"I think we played well even though we still have room for improvement and I felt great while I was out there," Libonati said.
Sprau completed 10 of 25 passes for 113 yards for Bonanza, but coach Shawn Dupris said the running attack of Beals and Drake Stanley were unable to break through.
"I thought our defense was phenomenal but our offense made too many costly errors," Dupris said. "Our offensive line was opening holes but (our running backs) weren't finding them. We need them to hit those holes a lot harder. "