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Chowchilla tops in Valley

CHOWCHILLA -- John Henson wasn't taking any chances.

With five minutes left on the clock, the Chowchilla coach ordered one of his assistants to dump out all the water buckets.

It didn't matter.

Henson's boys are resourceful.

A few players doused their coach with water bottles as they celebrated Chowchilla's 20-0 win over Kingsburg in Friday night's Central Section Division IV Valley Championship.

"My guys are very good at what they do, no matter what it is," said Henson, with water still dripping from his face.

Henson couldn't have scripted a better game.

"Sometimes things just work out the way you expect them to go," Henson said.

As he expected, his defense dominated.

Chowchilla (12-1) didn't give up a first down until midway through the second quarter.

A first quarter goal-line stand also set the tone for the rest of the game.

"We just have that attitude (that) everyone's going to make a play -- everyone's fighting for that tackle," Chowchilla linebacker David DeJager said.

Chowchilla sacked Kingsburg's two quarterbacks seven times and intercepted Tyler Bray three times.

"A lot of people were doubting our secondary," said Fred Gaines, who came away with one of the interceptions.

"We knew what we had to do. We pressured their quarterback. We rattled him."

There were no surprises on offense for Chowchilla, who threw only one pass in the game.

Gaines scored on touchdown runs of 63 and 73 yards and finished with 172 yards on just 12 carries.

Gaines' 63-yard score came on his second carry of the game when he cut back to the left and saw nothing but open field.

"I saw it on my first carry, but I slipped," Gaines said. "I went back to it on my next carry and it was there again."

Rob Diepersloot's only pass found Kyle Espinola for a 29-yard touchdown that gave Chowchilla a 14-0 lead with 8:11 left in the first half.

"We wouldn't be denied," Henson said. "Our guys were like starving bulldogs."

It wasn't long before players and coaches were celebrating in a sea of chest bumps.

"I can't even explain it," Gaines said. "We worked so hard all year.

"To finally get to the Valley Championship and win it...it's unbelievable."

At Chowchilla

Kingsburg 0 0 0 0 -- 0

Chowchilla 8 6 0 6 -- 20

First Quarter

C -- Fred Gaines 63 run (Dylan Wood run)

Second Quarter

C -- Kyle Espinola 29 pass from Rob Diepersloot (run failed)

Fourth Quarter

C -- Gaines 73 run (run failed).

Records: Kingsburg 11-2; Chowchilla 12-1.

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