By Fred J. Robledo, SGVN
Just how good is South Hills?
One of the biggest surprises opening weekend was South Hills’ 33-28 comeback victory over Colony, a team that was 11-2 last season and features all-purpose threat Samajie Grant, who verbally committed to the University of Arizona with offers from UCLA and Utah on the table.
Although Grant scored three touchdowns, which included a punt and kickoff return, the Huskies showed a lot of poise rallying from a 21-6 halftime deficit — scoring 27 unanswered points to pull out the victory.
The Huskies are replacing one of the best offensive trio’s in the Valley in quarterback Vincent Hernandez, running back Jamel Hart, receiver Jordan Canada, and it was coach Albert Rodriguez’s first-game replacing Steve Bogan, who won four CIF titles with the Huskies.
Not a bad opener, especially for a group that looked so-so a week earlier in a scrimmage against Covina.
“A scrimmage is a scrimmage, we kept it pretty vanilla,” Rodriguez said. “Getting a win over a team like Colony is great for us, they have a lot of athletes and we knew it would be a challenge.
“I’m not surprised we won the game, we’ve been working our tails and we’re in good shape. I thought that was one of the differences, we wore them down in the second half.”
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South Hills couldn’t stop anyone last season, allowing an average of 36 points.
Although it gave up 28 to Colony, two TDs came on Grant’s punt and kickoff returns.
“We’ve spent a great deal of time trying to improve in that area,” Rodriguez said. “We gave up a couple touchdowns on special teams, but other than that, I thought our defense showed a lot of improvement for a first game.”
Quarterback Adam Goss had a big night too, rushing for 107 yards with two touchdowns.
“We’re not a team short on playmakers,” Rodriguez said. “Adam’s a great athlete and he’s going to start throwing it more. I think our offense is going to be fine.”
South Hills (1-0) is looking forward to its next test at Bonita (0-1) on Friday at 7 p.m.
Bonita rallied from a 23-point deficit to take a fourth-quarter lead over San Dimas in last week’s Smudgepot, but the Saints came back and pulled it out, 37-36.
“We watched them (Bonita) and they really got it going after falling behind,” Rodriguez said. “They have a good quarterback (Tanner Diebold) and running back Reggie Turner is impressive.
“It’s another tough game. We have a lot of tough games on the schedule so we’re not going to get ahead of ourselves or think too much about last week.”