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Redemption sweet for Jacobo, Golden Valley

ATWATER -- Two weeks was a long time to wait for Jeremy Jacobo.

The Golden Valley senior had to watch from the sidelines during last week's win over Modesto while he served a suspension for throwing a punch in a game against Sonora on Sept. 21.

Jacobo rarely left the field Friday night.

On defense he intercepted two passes -- returning one for a touchdown.

On offense, Jacobo spent time at receiver and quarterback -- throwing a 41-yard touchdown -- to lead Golden Valley to a 16-14 win over Atwater.

"It was a stupid mistake on my part," Jacobo said.

"I told some of my teammates I would make up for it. It didn't hit me until I was out here. I was so pumped up and ready to go."

It seemed to take a big hit to get Jacobo going.

Atwater safety Bryce Dibble delivered a violent hit that kept Jacobo from scoring on a catch late in the first half.

Dibble's hit sent Jacobo spinning in the air and he fell just a yard short of the end zone. The blow was part of an emotional goal-line stand that stopped GV just inches from the goal line.

"I didn't even feel the hit," Jacobo said. "Everyone was telling me I flipped in the air.

I guess it knocked something into me."

Coming out of its own end zone with just 47 seconds left on the clock, Atwater decided to take some shorts instead of settling for a 3-0 halftime deficit.

It became a costly gamble.

Jacobo stepped in front of a Nathan Sanchez pass and returned it 12 yards for a touchdown to give GV a 9-0 lead at the half.

"I've been doing it all week," Jacobo said. "They run a lot of hitches and outs and I jumped the route.

"My coach owes me a Gatorade for that."

Atwater coach Bob Valladao said his team was trying to score.

"We were trying to catch them off guard," he said. "We figured they thought we'd just sit on it and go to the half.

"We wanted to see how deep their safeties were playing. Our quarterback just made a bad decision."

Atwater (1-1 Central California Conference, 1-4 overall) finally put together a drive to start the second half.

Atwater used 12 plays to march 83 yards with Trevor Staats scoring on a 2-yard run to cut the lead to 9-7 with 5:58 left in the third quarter.

However, turnovers continued to plague Atwater.

J.J. Terry and Jacobo intercepted back-to-back Sanchez passes.

Golden Valley (1-0 CCC, 3-2 overall) turned the second interception into a touchdown when Jacobo hooked up with Caleb Fiedor for a 41-yard score to give GV a 16-7 lead with 18 seconds left in the third quarter.

"It was good to get (Jacobo) back out there contributing," Golden Valley coach Jon Betschart said.

"That interception was big. We don't get in and then he gets a 'pick six.' "

Trailing 16-14, Atwater threatened late, but GV's defense held on for the win.

"We can't wait until the second half to start playing," Valladao said. "Our defense played well enough to win."

The Golden Valley win sets up an interesting matchup against an old friend.

"We've got a big one next week," Jacobo said. "It's homecoming against Los Banos and our old coach -- coach (Dennis) Stubbs.

"It should be fun."

Shawn Jansen is a Sun-Star sports reporter. He can be reached at"> or 385-2462.