Bryson Donalsen, Cavaliers run over Mission Oak
Thanks to six touchdowns from Donalsen, the Central Valley Christian football team defeated Mission Oak, 64-38; both CVC and Mission Oak now head into their bye week with a 4-1 record
TULARE – It was the Bryson Donelson show at Bob Mathias Stadium on Friday night. In Central Valley Christian’s 64-38 victory over the hometown Mission Oak Hawks, Donelson led the way with six touchdowns. While many Cavaliers played well in Friday night’s victory, CVC head coach Mason Hughes knows how valuable Donelson was to their success.
“He’s a phenomenal runner,” Hughes said. “We probably wouldn’t score as much or move the ball as much if it wasn’t for that kid. Our offensive line is very good which helps, but he is phenomenal.”
The offensive explosion was a welcome sight for the Cavaliers after a lacklustre showing in their previous game. At home last weekend, the Cavaliers suffered a 48-14 loss to Clovis North for their first loss of the season. As they came into this week’s contest, the Cavaliers were dead set on showing that result was just a fluke.
“After getting our butts kicked last week, we worked hard in practice throughout the week,” Donelson said. “So we made sure it would not happen again and it showed tonight.”
Donelson and the Cavaliers made sure to get rolling early on offense. On the first play of CVC’s first possession of the night, Donelson broke several tackles and carried the ball all the way for a 68-yard touchdown run to give his team the lead.
The next time Donelson touched the ball, he went beast mode again for an 81-yard touchdown run to push the lead to 13-0 halfway through the first quarter. So on just his first two carries of the game, Donelson already had a 149 yards and two scores on the ground. But most importantly, Donelson gave his team momentum on the road.
“If you start a game like that, your whole team is obviously going to have all the juice,” Donelson said. “We felt like we had the juice now and we just kept rolling.”
And the Cavaliers kept rolling with another touchdown to end the first to make it a 21-0 game. The Hawks finally responded with a touchdown, but they could not slow down the CVC rushing attack led by Donelson. On CVC’s next possession, Donelson ran it out from 49 yards for another score.
After Mission Oak responded with a field goal, Donelson got involved in the passing game for the Cavaliers. On a deep pass from quarterback Brent Kroeze, Donelson came down with the ball, broke a tackle and took it in for a 54-yard score.
To end the half, the Cavaliers and Hawks exchanged touchdowns, resulting in a 42-17 lead for CVC heading into halftime. Looking to get back in the game, the Hawks opened the second half with an onside kick that they recovered.
But they could not capitalize on the opportunity as Caden Ritchie intercepted a pass from Mission Oak quarterback Daniel Gonzalez. It was one of three interceptions that the Cavaliers recorded on the day, which Hughes believes made a huge impact on the final result.
“That’s the difference in the game. If we didn’t get those three picks, we’re definitely not where we’re at right now,” Hughes said. “Turnovers are a major part of the game and I’m proud of our guys because we haven’t been able to do that very much this year and to be able to do that tonight was really good.”
With the ball back, the Cavaliers once again put it in the hands of Donelson. And he rewarded them with a 40-yard run for a score to push the lead to 49-17. Over the rest of the third, the Cavaliers and Hawks exchanged scores. Donelson capped off the frame with a 29-yard touchdown run to make it a 56-31 game.
The Hawks kept pace with another score, but CVC answered right back with another touchdown. Eventually, time just ran out for the Hawks as they suffered their first loss of the season to drop to 4-1. Despite the loss, a bright spot for the Hawks was their offense led by Gonzalez, who threw four touchdowns and three interceptions.
On the winning side, the Cavaliers improved to 4-1 as they head into their bye week. While Friday night’s victory was a strong demonstration of what the Cavaliers are capable of, Hughes sees plenty of room for improvement.
“(We need to work on) tackling and discipline. We lack both of those right now,” Hughes said. “Offensively, we’ll continue to build on the things that we’re good at and work on the things that we’re not really that good at yet.”
But the Cavaliers are still feeling good heading into their bye. In their first road game of the season, they scored 64 points and beat a then-undefeated Mission Oak team. With league play coming up next, that is something they can build on.
“After getting our butts kicked last week and coming back and kicking butt this week, we’re definitely up to the level,” Donelson said. “So next week we’ll get some rest and get ready to go for league.”