The Scotts Valley Falcons opened their season against visiting Los Altos with a tough first half.
During the game, the team would show signs of grit and resilience.
A 54-yard touchdown run by Los Altos early in the game, followed by a two-point conversion put Scotts Valley behind 8-0.
Then Trevor Ponos broke free for a 60-yard return of the ensuing kickoff. The Falcons missed a field goal attempt.
Things didn’t get better. The visitors kicked a long field goal. The Falcons lost a fumble, but then held the Eagles for three downs in a tough goal-line stand before Los Altos scored again.
The score at the half: Los Altos 17- Scotts Valley 0.
“In the second half, we never gave up,” said coach Louie Walters.
The Falcon defense shut down the visitor’ running game in the second half.
The offense began grinding out first downs.
Falcons senior Ryan Johnston also set up his team twice with punt returns of 44 and 39 yards.
The Falcons finally got on the scoreboard late in the third quarter after running back Tanner Gilton scored his first touchdown on a 1-yard run to cut the Los Altos lead to 17-7.
A few minutes later, Gilton scored again on a 3-yard dive. He would finish with 80 yards on 22 carries. Walters would name Gilton his Player of the Game.
It was now a 3-point game, in the fourth quarter.
Tyler Stow completed six straight passes with less than five to go, and the Falcons were threatening. But a fumble by the Falcons and recovery by Los Altos stopped the drive.
The defense appeared to hold, but the visitors broke through for a game-clinching touchdown on an 18-yard fourth-down run.
An interception in the waning minutes sealed their fate.
Player of the Game
RB Tanner Gilton
Play of the Game
The game Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Scotts Valley 0 0 7 7 14
Los Altos 8 9 0 7 24
Tanner Gilton, 1 yd run, 3-yard run
SV, 72 LA, 7
SV, 87 LA, 201
SV, 12 LA, 10
SV, 2 LA, 0
Tanner Gilton, 80
Tyler Stow, 72
Carson Spence, 37