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Football: San Ramon Valley Steps on Throttle in Win Against Antioch

Wolves don't rest on emotional opening-day win by racing to 27-0 lead early en route to impressive 41-14 rout at Antioch.

San Ramon Valley 41, Antioch 14

The Star: San Ramon Valley defensive back Michael Tagliaferri intercepted two of his team's four passes, returning one 45 yards for a touchdown. He has three interceptions on the young season.

The Turning Point: San Ramon Valley's opening drive, three plays, three completions by Zach Kline for 65 yards including a 45-yard bomb on the first play to Trent Peterson and a four-yard touchdown to Nicholas Eckel.

The Quote: "(We) did what we expected to do." – San Ramon Valley coach Mark Kessler.

What's next: The Wolves host Washington-Fremont on Sept 24, their final tune-up before opening East Bay Athletic League play with Granada.

Bottom line: Hard to tell because Antioch is struggling so badly. The good news is the Wolves didn't play down or take anything for granted, jumping to a 41-0 lead midway through the third quarter.  

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No dramatic finishes needed for the San Ramon Valley High football team this week.

To the contrary, this one was done six seconds into the second quarter as the visiting Wolves (2-0) rolled to an easy 41-14 victory over an athletic but inexperienced Antioch squad on Friday night.

San Ramon Valley, which needed a 47-yard yard field goal by Brett Barbier with 17 seconds remaining to beat visiting Mitty last week, scored on its first four possessions to take a 27-0 lead and was never really threatened.

Junior quarterback Zach Kline, who on Sunday committed to Cal, fired three touchdown passes in a little more than two quarters of play and the Wolves intercepted four passes, two by junior Michael Tagliaferri who returned one for a 45-yard touchdown.

Following the first 12:06 onslaught, the Wolves weren't exactly sharp, but it was still a solid win.

"We came out in the first quarter and did what we expected to do," San Ramon Valley coach Mark Kessler said. "We were a little rocky in the second quarter, but that's a product of being young. "

Despite the lopsided score, the Wolves only held a 273-232 edge in yards, but Antioch moved the ball long after the game was decided.

Most everyone got involved for the winners, as six different players scored.

Kline fired touchdowns passes of four, eight and 27 yards to Nicholas Eckel, Kaulin Blair and Keaton Harvey, respectively, and Michael Summers and Benjamin Teichman scored on runs of 12 and two yards.

The Wolves (2-0) also sacked Antioch quarterbacks Billy Cloninger and Troy Amate six times. Antioch did complete 19 passes in 40 attempts for 221 yards in its no-huddle, spread attack, but it managed just 11 rushing yards in 27 attempts.

Summers and Trent Patterson also contributed interceptions.

"Overall, I think we did what we wanted to do tonight," Kessler said. "And the main thing is a lot of people contributed."

For the second straight game, Tagliaferri came up huge. He intercepted a Cloninger pass in the end zone when the Panthers (0-3) were threatening in the second quarter, then he jumped a rout in the third quarter and sprinted 45 yards untouched down the right sideline for his third pick of the season.

He had a key interception against future Cal quarterback Kyle Boehm in last week's win.

"Michael is a heck of a player," Kessler said. "The irony is I'm not sure he knows exactly what he's doing out there yet. When he does, he's going to be a key cog for us both offensively and defensively."

Said Kline of Tagliaferri, who is also a lacrosse standout: "Michael is on fire. He's one of the greatest athletes I've seen. He's just awesome. He makes key plays when we really need him to make plays."

Said Tagliaferri: "I'm just doing my part. We have great senior leadership and the juniors are stepping in to do their jobs."

Kline doesn't mince words when asked just what the Wolves are capable of accomplishing this season.

"Personally, I think we can win an NCS championship," he said. "We have great team chemistry, a great line, great players and great coaches."

Kessler isn't nearly prepared to go that far yet.

"We're still very much a work in progress," he said. "But we're definitely headed in the right direction."

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San Ramon Valley 41, Antioch 14

San Ramon Valley 20  7  14  0  -  41

Antioch                       0   0   7   7  -  14

Scoring Summary

8:26, 1st: SRV – Eckel 4 pass from Kline (Rider kick).

5:30, 1st: SRV – Summers 12 run (Rider kick).

4:27, 1st: SRV – Teichman 2 run (kick failed).

11:54, 2nd: SRV – Blair 8 pass from Kline (Rider kick)

9:08 3rd: SRV – Harvey 27 pass from Kline (Rider kick)

7:16 3rd, SRV – Tagliaferri 45 interception return (Rider kick)

2:29 3re, A – Borrelli 14 pass from Amate (Lucido kick)

0:02 4th, A – Amate 1 run (Lucido kick)

Individual Statistics

Rushing (Car-yards): SRV – Summers 7-55, Reed 3-32, Kline 2-3, Gurule 2-3, Teichman 1-2, Barbier 1-2, Wang 1-2, Eckel 1-2, Clancy 1-0. A – Robinson 10-29, Simmons 1-11, Lewis 4-2, Wright 1-2, Cloninger 1-(-5), Amate 9-(-27).

Passing (comp-att-yards-ints): SRV – Kline 10-19-156-1, Love 2-10-16-0, Villa 0-2-0-0. A – Amate 15-30-191-1, Cloninger 4-10-30-3.

Receiving (rec-yds): SRV – Peterson 3-65, Blair 3-49, Harvey 2-32, Barbier 1-11, Summers 1-6, Hamblin 1-5, Eckel 1-4. A – Hickman 5-83, Wright 5-47, Borrelli 4-54, Robinson 2-4, Simmons 1-20, Curcio 1-10, Bosely 1-8.

Team offense (rushing-passing-total)

San Ramon Valley – 101-172-237

Antioch – 11-221-232

Fumbles/lost: SRV 0/0, Antioch 1/1.

Records: San Ramon Valley 2-0, Antioch 0-3.

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