Aidan Galvan reminded everyone at Rankin Stadium why he was, and is once again, Monache High School’s No. 1 running back after rushing for four touchdowns against the defending CIF Southern Regional Division 5-AA champions, Golden West, in the Div. IV Marauders 32-21 victory over the Trailblazers Friday evening.

In the first half alone, Galvan scored three touchdowns from 3-, 2- and 8-yards out but it was his final touchdown in the fourth quarter that was the longest, most explosive of the night.

After Monache’s defense forced Golden West (0-1) to turn the ball over on fourth-and-9 in the Trailblazers’ territory, Galvan exploded for a 36-yard touchdown run on the ensuing play. The junior shook defenders in the middle of the field before he and his blockers moved towards Golden West’s sidelines and Galvan cruised into the endzone. Forgoing a PAT, senior quarterback Antonio Andrade ran the ball in for two points to put the Marauders (1-0) up 32-13.

Galvan rushed for 154 yards on 17 carries behind an offensive line made up of sophomores Rigo Tapia and Alexess Hernandez, junior Taven Avila and seniors Hector Moreno and Elijah Robles. Monache head coach Chris Frankland said Galvan put in a lot of time in during the offseason working with his linemen and to understand better his job in the backfield, but that the team’s young line weren’t to be overlooked in Friday’s performance either.

“You can watch [Galvan] kind of go up and tell them, this is how he’d like to block things a certain way and he’s really taken ownership of that, but I think you have to be careful too to not miss the impact that our offensive line has,” Frankland said. “They are very well sized, they’re very physical and they’re very young.”

After giving up a 1-yard touchdown to GWHS Lonnie Wessel on the opening drive of the game, the Marauders went on to score 24 unanswered points. Besides Galvan coming away with 12 points on touchdowns, he also picked up a 2-point conversion and senior kicker Omar Meza went 2-for-2 on PATs.  

Monache’s defense also scored a safety on the drive following Galvan’s first touchdown to pick up an early 9-7. After giving up 21 and 22 point first quarters to the Trailblazers in their 2017 and 2016 season openers, respectively, it was the first time the Marauders had held lead over Golden West, let alone scored, in the first quarter.

After a few first half missteps, the Trailblazers found their way in the second half and scored touchdowns, and pulled off a 2-point conversion, in the third and fourth quarter despite big defensive plays from the Monache defense like MHS senior Marcus Villegas picking off GWHS quarterback Tyson Sandri, as well as touchdown saving pass deflections from junior Kaori Sims and sophomore Julian Rowe.

“As physical as a game that was and as good as they are offensively and as much time as they were on the field, you got to like what we can kind of expect from our defense as the season moves on and we improve and get better,” Frankland said. “That’s a tough matchup for any team, so as we start playing more pro-style and spread teams, I think that plays a little bit more into our favor.”

The Monache coaches estimated that Golden West ran around 100 plays compared to the Marauders’ 47. The Trailblazers were able to keep the Marauders on the field and convert on third-and-long and fourth downs, but in the end Frankland was still encouraged by what he saw.

“We made some mistakes, and they know that, but all in all the physicality and competition level that they played at, I was really pleased with,” he said.

Last season Monache didn’t get a win until the fourth week of the season, but this week they’ll head to Delano on Friday evening with a season-opening win under their belt and face Div. IV Cesar E. Chavez (0-1) for a 7:30 p.m. game.

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