The Nighthawks' northern adventure to Alaska ended in victory as Murrieta Valley defeated the state’s fourth-ranked team 59-0 on a wet, cold evening in Juneau.
It was all Murrieta from the start with the Nighthawks’ defense overwhelming the Crimson Bears. The result: middle linebacker Mike Almodovar forcing a 2-point safety in the first quarter for the game's first score.
Speedster Damon Nolan took the subsequent kick to the to the Juneau 31-yard line. Brandon Iacobellis then ran the ball to the 14, setting up halfback Jayvy Ragudo’s first touchdown run of the year.
Ragudo started in place of injured star running back Jacob Augustin. The offensive line made sure that Ragudo and Michael Robles had plenty of holes to run through. Jerry Boggs, Grant Hatch, Tanner Mott, Christian Vinsky and Jack James controlled the line of scrimmage all evening.
After a blocked punt, the Nighthawks drove down the field, Blake first hitting Iaocobellis and then Hector Bautista on the one. Murrieta Valley ran the ball into the end zone and scored the 2-point conversion with a pass and lead 17-0.
Juneau’s back-up Quarterback Dorian Isaak, playing in place of All-Alaska quarterback Phillip Fenumiai was knocked out of the game as the first quarter ended. No. 51, Trevor Path would play quarterback for the Crimson Bears the rest of the game. Their offense never got started.
This was the first time the Crimson Bears had ever experienced a punishing, aggressive, swarming defense like the Nighthawks. Davis Day, Terin Solomon, Jordan Silva, Omar Mohamed and Michael Payne stopped everything Juneau attempted. Solomon blocked yet another punt Saturday.
Cody Thornburg, Mike Almodovar and De’sean Bullock contained the Bears' running attack. Brown, Damon Nolan and Lafayette Waters shut down what was left of the Juneau passing game.
Murrieta Valley scored twice in the second quarter on drives orchestrated by Blake resulting in touch down runs of 2 yards by Ragudo and 20 by Robles. The first half ended 31-0.
The only Crimson Bear scoring threat was turned away early in the first half by the Nighthawks in the red zone. The subsequent field goal attempt failed.
Coach Greg Ireland and his team were relentless in the second half. Four minutes into the third quarter, Murrieta Valley drove the ball down the field and scored on Jayvy Ragudo’s 20-yard touch down run.
Three minutes later, quarterback Blake dashed into the end zone to extend the lead 45-0.
The fourth quarter was all Nighthawks and Damon Nolan. With only three minutes left in the game, No. 26 took a Crimson Bear punt and returned it 40 yards for a touchdown.
A minute later, Nolan intercepted a Trevor Path pass and took the ball 80 yards down the field, scoring the Nighthawks' last touchdown in Alaska.
Final score Murrieta Valley 59, Juneau-Douglas 0.
This was the third straight shutout for the Nighthawk defense which has only allowed 15 points in four games. Murrieta is now 4-0 in non-league play.
Coach Greg Ireland’s Nighthawks will be taking on Elsinore this week. The Tigers are coming off a convincing 53-29 victory against Temecula Valley and always play tough against MVHS.