VST Game of the Week: Kory Hall leads Cavaliers to win over El Camino Real
The Cleveland Cavaliers Kory Hall caught a 60-yard touchdown pass and returned an interception for a score as the Cavs found pay dirt three times in a three minute span en route to a 34-20 win over the El Camino Royals on Thursday night. Hall also opened the scoring on the evening with a spectacular one-handed grab in the back of the end zone early in the second quarter.
The Royals were not without bite in this matchup where they were the designated home team. They appeared primed to turn the contest into a shootout when they matched Cleveland stretching their lead early in the fourth quarter with a touchdown just 26 seconds later to keep the game within one score at 20-13.
That was as close as El Camino would get. On the ensuing drive, Kory Hall corralled a deep ball on 4th and long, taking it 60 yards for a touchdown. One minute later, Hall intercepted sophomore Kevin Hawkins and ran it back 45 yards for the score that essentially sealed the game.
The Royals fought to the end, putting together a scoring drive that was capped by a 25-yard scramble from Hawkins that ended with a big collision at the goal line. Hawkins scored on the play, and El Camino found themselves within two scores at 34-20 with 4:34 left in the game. That was the end of the scoring, as Cleveland recovered the onside kick attempt and ran out the clock to secure the win.
However, the opening drive for both teams showcased the maddening inconsistency that would plague them throughout the game. El Camino forced a turnover on the opening drive, recovering a fumble deep in their own territory; they were then unable to move the ball against the aggressive Cavaliers defense.
Cleveland scored their second touchdown of the game on a nice deep pass to senior Usman Ajayi. Freshman quarterback Domenik Fuentes rolled to his right and unleashed a pass that found Ajayi on the inside of his defender for a 33-yard score. The extra point went wide, but the Cavaliers held a 13-0 lead.
El Camino had their best chance to get on the scoreboard late in the first half. With under one minute left in the second quarter, the Royals benefitted from a pair of Cleveland penalties and found themselves deep in Cavs territory. The Royals, unfortunately, were unable to capitalize on the opportunity, as the field goal attempt fell short sending both teams into the halftime break.
Both teams now await their fate in the CIF Los Angeles City Section playoffs. Brackets for all four divisions (Open, D1, D2, D3) will be released this weekend. The Royals finish the season 3-7 with a 2-3 record in the West Valley. That has them on the cusp of D1 or D2, but they appear more set for a top seed in D2. The Cavaliers end 7-3 overall and 3-2 in West Valley League play, good enough for a prospective D1 seeding and at least one home contest.