Murrieta Valley keeps marching toward playoffs, 42-14

By Tim Sahar Murrieta Valley High's football team kept riding its momentum to new heights toward the regular season's end as the...

By Tim Sahar

Murrieta Valley High's football team kept riding its momentum to new heights toward the regular season's end as the Nighthawks took down Great Oak Friday night, 42-14.

It seems as if the Nighthawks love to start the game with intensity, and they did that again Friday night, as they came out firing on the offensive end. That momentum carried them through the entire game.

Sophomore quarterback Hank Bachmeier completed 16 of 24 passes for 272 yards and 3 touchdowns, with the first one scored on the team's first possession when he found wide receiver Marquis Spiker in the end zone for 12 yards.

Murrieta Valley’s dynamic running back duo came out to play ball as well. Lika Palmer rushed for 123 yards and one touchdown, while Austin Bacher rushed for 77 yards and a touchdown.

Spiker played exceptional once again, catching 7 passes for 125 yards and adding 2 touchdowns.

"He (Spiker) works hard through the week at practice and his routes are crisp. Good route running is so underrated," said MVHS head coach George Wilson on Spiker’s impressive performance.

The Nighthawks quickly went up 14-0 just 6 minutes into the first quarter. Great Oak desperately needed to make something happen and answered the call after quarterback McGwire Bustamante faked a handoff to Adrian Robinson, getting the entire Nighthawk defense distracted while the ball was actually put into Jeremiah Ruger’s hands, giving him a wide-open lane for a 58-yard touchdown run.

At one point in the second quarter, both teams were going back and forth in scoring. After Ruger’s big touchdown rush, Bachmeier came back in and instantly connected with Spiker for a 45-yard touchdown, upping the score to 21-7.

Great Oak’s next possession included a myriad of rushes from Bustamante, Danny Morales and Robinson, with Morales finding the end zone on a 3-yard rush.

It seemed as each time Great Oak answered with a score, Murrieta Valley said, "watch this" and capitalized by upping up their level of play. On the Nighthawks’ following kickoff return, Palmer took it all the way to the house on a 92-yard kickoff return touchdown.

After the momentum-breaking kickoff return from Palmer, it was Bacher’s turn to score, and he did by powering and finessing his way through plenty of defenders without any problem.

In the second half, both team's defenses were superb, with only one touchdown being allowed. Bachmeier capped off the victory with a 65-yard bomb to Maurice Bell that sealed the game.

"I’m glad we played against a quality team and were able to compete," Wilson said.

Murrieta Valley (7-2) will host rival Murrieta Mesa next week with a chance to close out league competition undefeated, while Great Oak (5-4) faces off against Vista Murrieta.

"We’re onto bigger things," Palmer said. "This is cool and all, but we want to make a playoff run."


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