Rival schools can, at their most effective, bring the best out of each other.
That seems to be what happened in the annual Banner Game between Spring Valley and Bonanza Friday night. The Grizzlies took home the banner after losing it for a year, but had to fight for it in a 24-21 victory.
Spring Valley cruised early, going up 14-0 after its first two drives, but then lost the lead before halftime. Bonanza unleashed backup mobile quarterback John Frazier, and Spring Valley struggled to keep up in falling behind 21-17.
But the Grizzlies made defensive adjustments at halftime and they paid off in the second half. They forced a couple turnovers and had a goal line stand to keep the Bengals out of the end zone from the 2-yard line.
In the second half, Spring Valley relied heavily on senior running back Kevin Benoza, who scored what ended up being the game-winning touchdown late in the third quarter. He wound up with well over 100 rushing yards.
“When we needed to control the clock, we handed the ball off to him and he did that,” Spring Valley coach Marcus Teal said. “He kept the clock moving.”
Spring Valley’s other scores came on a pass from Sylo Stanton to Marquelle Diggs, a blocked punt by Tzadeek Yehudah returned by Joe Pineta and a field goal by Austin Connors.