VALLEY CENTER—While the 7th-grade football team missed its opportunity at perfection, it still finished with the top honor of the season.
The Bluejays entered Thursday’s game at Valley Center with a umblemished 5-0 record. But Valley Center shocked Augusta with a 46-yard touchdown on a Hail Mary pass to beat the Bluejays 14-8 in the final seconds, handing them their first loss of the season.
While circumstances proved it wasn’t meant to be, the Bluejays still finished the season as Pioneer League champions. They closed the season with a 5-1 record, tied with Andover Central atop the standings in PL Division II. But Augusta defeated Central 20-6 earlier this season, which gives it the tiebreaker and the league title outright.
The game was scoreless at halftime before Valley Center took an 8-0 lead in the third quarter. The Bluejays responded with a touchdown run by Blake Bevan to even the score. Bevan scored on the conversion, as well.
The 8th-grade team got its second win of the season by beating Valley Center 28-14. After Valley Center took an early 6-0 lead, the Bluejays rattled off 28 straight points before halftime.
Dallin Marlnee scored on a 23-yard run to tie the game 6-6 after the extra point was blocked.
Raef Hilt later broke loose for a 93-yard touchdown run, and Marlnee added the conversion for a 14-6 lead. Hilt added a second long TD run, this time from 55 yards. Marlnee scored another conversion for a 22-6 lead.
Jayden Reynolds scored on a four-yard pass from Marlnee before halftime to take a 28-6 lead.
Valley Center added one more touchdown in the second half.
The 8th-graders finished the season with a 2-4 record for fifth place.