HS Football: Paloma Valley Wallops Yucaipa 56-21 in the CIF SS Championship Quarterfinals

The Wildcats Advance to Face Paraclete in the Semi-Finals Next Friday

By David Bradshaw

Paloma Valley defeated Yucaipa 56-21 in the CIF Southern Section Division 5 Championship Quarterfinals Friday night. The Wildcats advance to face Lancaster’s the Division’s top-seed, Paraclete High in the Semi-Finals next Friday.

Quarterback Chance Nolan stayed red hot again this week as he threw for 384 yards and three touchdowns. The senior made the Thunderbirds pay for every mistake they made in the game. The Wildcats turned four turnovers into 28 points in the second-quarter to change the tone and outcome of the game.

The Game started with Yucaipa scoring first on a touchdown run by quarterback Keo McChesney. Paloma Valley came right back and responded with a long pass and run from Nolan to Andrew Franco. Flaco unfortuately was chased down from behind and stripped of the ball at about the 2 yard line. Yucaipa recovered.

Paloma Valley returned the favor with an interception. Steven Bradshaw applied pressure on Yucaipa’s quarterback which forced a high throw or a pick. Paloma Valley cashed in with the first of four touchdown runs by Damian Torres. The score was 7-7.

The Thunderbirds fought right back with a deep throw to Gavin Norris to make it 14-7. That would be Yucaipa’s last lead as Paloma Valley dominated the remainder of the half.

The offensive line stepped up and protected Chance Nolan, giving him time to find his receivers and open holes for the running backs. The defense turned it up a notch were physical and dominating. On a crucial 4th down play Paloma Valley went for it and Nolan found Tyrese Tillman for the 10 yard TD pass to tie it at 14-14 at the end of a quarter.

Paloma Valley’s defense went to work in the game changing second quarter. Nick Ross forced a fumble that Enrique Bustamante returned for a touchdown and a 21-14 lead. Wildcat linebacker Steven Bradshaw forced another fumble that was recovered by Isaiah Lowden. Paloma Valley cashed in on another Damien Torres touchdown run making it 28 to 14.

When Yucaipa got the ball back quarterback McChesney took a big hit and had to leave the game. He did not return. Paloma Valleys defense stepped up once again and forced another fumble which was recovered by Bradshaw. Tillman picked up some tough yards setting up Torres for his third touchdown run and a 35-14 lead.

Yucaipas back-up quarterback Nico Garrido was then intercepted by Enrique Bustamante. Nolan didn’t waste any time and hit Tillman with a 60-yard touchdown run to make it 42-14 at the half.

The Wildcats got the ball to start the second half and Nolan wasted no time moving Paloma Valley. He found Mason Carvalho open and hit him with a touchdown pass from 24 yards out. Yucaipa countered and scored on an 11-yard run by the backup quarterback Garrido to made it 49-21.

Paloma Valley proceeded to score on Torres 4th touchdown run of the game, behind bruising fullback Steven Bradshaw to make it 56-21. That sent the Wildcat starters to the bench and Paloma Valley cruised for the rest of the game.

Paloma Valley is back in their first semifinal game since 2013. The Wildcats and their new head Coach Tony Trello advances to face Lancaster’s top-seeded Paraclete High Friday night.

Photos by David Bradshaw