ATWATER — Like a younger sibling on date night, the Golden Valley High football team refused to go away on Friday evening.
A Jashaan Wright touchdown catch got the Cougars right back in the game with just over 7 minutes to play in the third quarter, but Aundre Sherman made sure the GV celebration didn't last long.
The Buhach Colony fly back caught the ensuing kickoff at the 2-yard line and exploded through his wedge. He side-stepped to his right and sprinted the rest of the 98 yards for a touchdown. BC never relinquished the momentum and kept its playoff hopes alive with a 42-27 victory at Falcon Field.
"You can see it on film, there was just a wall of blockers in front of me," Sherman said. "They gave me a good block and then I made a good move to the right. I had open sideline after that.
"It was a big play. They were feeling good after their score and we just took it right back from them."
It was one of two really pivotal plays that cost Golden Valley.
The Cougars held a 14-13 lead at the end of the first quarter after the two teams exchanged a pair of touchdown runs.
Quintin Levesque (14 carries for 138 yards) took the game's opening play 80 yards for a Thunder score, and DiAngelo Andrews chipped in an 11-yard sweep.
GV (3-5, 1-2 Central California Conference) countered with TD runs of 5 and 25 yards from Javiya Evans (30-159).
Andrews put BC (4-4, 2-1 CCC) back in front midway through the second quarter with an 18-yard TD run.
The Thunder's defense then provided a big blow right before the half.
Kevin Kelleher stripped quarterback Steven Alvarez and Justin Stefani picked up the loose ball and rumbled 25 yards for the score and a 28-14 lead at intermission.
"Those two plays are really the difference," GV coach Dennis Stubbs said. "We got a good offensive performance, but couldn't overcome our mistakes."
Stefani put the game out of reach with a 3-yard TD run in the fourth quarter.
Alvarez ran it in from 2 yards out with 4 seconds left to make it a little more respectable final score.
"I thought the kids, particularly coming off of last week, were very focused tonight," BC coach Kevin Swartwood said. "GV has some nice pieces offensively and moved the ball well.
"We were just able come up with some big plays every time they started to get something going."