As Coach Jon Huss predicted, his Arroyo Grande High football team had trouble dealing with visiting Valencia's superior team speed in a nonleague game Friday night. But in the end, it was good, old-fashioned, grind-it-out football that propelled the Eagles to a 28-21 victory.
Arroyo Grande, No. 12 in The Times' rankings, took a 21-0 lead on Jimmy Chambers' two-yard touchdown run with 2 minutes 30 seconds left in the second quarter. But it took a five-yard touchdown run by Dustin Robertson with 1:08 left to give the Eagles the victory over No. 20 Valencia.
Robertson's run capped a seven-play, 51-yard drive for Arroyo Grande (4-0) after Valencia quarterback Stephen Wright had unloaded a 49-yard punt on a quick kick out of his own end zone.
"We just told ourselves that this was our game to win," said Robertson, who rushed for 103 yards and two touchdowns in 13 carries. "When we got in the huddle [after the punt], we said, 'Let's take it in and win.' "
Valencia (2-2) appeared to be reeling after falling behind by three touchdowns in the first half, but the Vikings scored on a 37-yard run by Charles Burnley and a 16-yard pass from Wright to Stephen Bothwell.
Valencia tied the score, 21-21, on Wright's 42-yard touchdown pass to Shane Morales with 2:43 left in the third quarter, but the Vikings were later stopped inches short of a first down on fourth and two from the Arroyo Grande 32-yard line with 8:23 left in the fourth quarter.
Burnley rushed for 163 yards in 27 carries, but only 28 in the second half.