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Golden Valley football can't hold onto ball in another big loss

MODESTO -- Golden Valley is improving.

The stats from Thursday night's affair at Don Gonsalves Stadium show it.

Or part of it, at least.

GV dominated time of possession and first downs -- and even outgained host Johansen in yards from scrimmage.

But for every step Golden Valley takes forward from week to week, one problem continues undermine all its efforts.


Four first-quarter fumbles put GV on its heels and a couple of big plays from Johansen delivered the knockout blow in a 30-10 loss.

"I feel this was a team we could have beaten," GV quarterback Matt Martin said. "The turnovers just keep killing us every week.

"The good thing is we know we're improving and we can fix the mistakes."

Martin split snaps behind center with Rey Rivas, but both had trouble holding onto the ball.

Golden Valley (0-4) put the ball on the turf nine times in the game, but the only ones that were costly came in the opening quarter.

GV needed all of two plays to reach the Johansen 9-yard line on the opening possession of the game.

But Martin got hit while deciding whether to pitch or keep the ball on an option and coughed it up.

Jon Betschart's boys drove right back into the red zone on their next possession, but an errant pitch ended the drive.

Johansen capitalized with a 49-yard touchdown run by William Corbin.

A bad snap handed the ball right back to Johansen and Corbin cashed it in again, this time with a 19-yard run.

The GV defense played well, but was susceptible to the big play.

All five Johansen scores came on plays of 19 yards or more.

GV threatened to answer a number of times as both Rivas and Martin were effective when they held onto the ball.

Rivas rushed for a team-high 109 yards on 19 carries and Martin was 8 of 12 passing for 132 yards and a TD pass to Bryson Phillip.

Victor Sanchez rounded out GV's scoring with a 35-yard field goal.

"Each week, we're getting better," Rivas said. "We get the turnovers under control and we can be successful."