CONCORD — Who had the ball was anyone’s guess. After Clayton Valley Charter quarterback Christian Aguilar took the hit in the shotgun, he was able to switch to running back. Or he could send the ball to a moving receiver.
Or Aguilar could wait and throw it to a receiver with blockers in front of him on a screen.
Or if he was really in the mood for a big play, the quarterback could tear up a deep throw.
California guessed all night and always seemed to choose the wrong answer as Clayton Valley won 49-14 to extend its winning streak to four games, the last three in the East Bay Athletic League’s Mountain Division.
Clayton Valley’s tricky offense had 349 passing yards, five rushing touchdowns and racked up much, much, much more if distance on misdirected plays were counted.
“All my receivers are my favorite receivers, and that’s what makes this offense dangerous,” Aguilar said after the Homecoming game. “The defense doesn’t know who has the ball.”
Clayton Valley halfback Nicholas Khashabi rushed for touchdowns with 8:28 and 3:01 left in the first quarter, and in between California’s Jayden Macedo threw a seven-yard smooth pass to Josh Calcagno to make it 14-7 at the end of the first quarter.
But as California’s offense stalled as inside passers such as Jordan Palega and AJ Taua created pressure, Clayton Valley couldn’t be stopped.
Aguilar’s two incompletes came on passes dropped by his receiver, and more often than not his targets passed.
Daven Amos and Cody DeMartini ran free, as did Hank Phifer and Ahmad Shatnawi. Shatnawi and Phifer were the recipients of big blocking on more than 25 yard receptions on screen passes.
Phifer finished with 109 yards and a touchdown, and Amos had 92 and a score. Halfbacks Micah Avery and Khashabi also ran for touchdowns in the second quarter, as the team just stomped on the ground after crossing the field.
“I’ve had cramps in these games lately,” said Khashabi, who has scored in three of his six runs. “So I figured the second I didn’t get cramp in a game, I’d score every time, and that’s what I did.”
Macedo left the game for California (5-3, 1-1) after injuring his throwing arm on a run late in the first half. Stavi Booras replaced Macedo, and he and halfback Devan Love pushed the Grizzlies down to finish the half. California’s basket went wide and the teams entered halftime 28-7.
The second half went in a rush after a trio of third-quarter touchdowns from Clayton Valley set off a running clock. Avery ran for a touchdown, Amos caught an eight-yard screen, then Phifer slid into the end zone on a seam route.
Aguilar was the trigger for most of the second half and finished with 331 passing yards on 18-of-21 passing and two touchdowns.
“We were a racing team for a long time, and it took us all summer and into August to get used to it,” Clayton Valley coach Tim Murphy said. “But now we are improving.”
To California’s credit, the team continued to play hard behind backup Aiden Camberg, who replaced Booras at quarterback in the second half. But while the Grizzlies ended their night with a touchdown pass from Camberg to Gabriel Quezada, that didn’t hide the fact that coach Danny Calcagno said the team likely lost Macedo for the year.
“There are no positives in this game, and we just have to prepare for the next one,” said Calcagno, whose team will travel to the San Ramon Valley next Friday. “That’s all you can do after a game like this.”
Clayton Valley (5-3, 3-0) will play at Monte Vista next week, then wrap up the regular season at De La Salle on Nov. 4. Amos said the team wouldn’t be naive enough to look past Monte Vista.
“We’re not going to minimize them, we’re just going to play football,” the catcher said. “We will take care of our missions.”
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