Jon Betschart and his Golden Valley football team got their first win out of the way last week.
It came in dramatic fashion, too, as GV scored two late touchdowns to beat Fairfield 21-14.
"It was big for us to get a win when we were down 14-7 with five minutes left," Betschart said. "We found a way to get it done. Our guys showed a lot of heart in that respect."
It won't be as easy tonight when Sonora (1-1) comes to town for the second straight week.
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Sonora played tough against Merced (3-0) in a 16-6 loss last week.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Don Odishoo Field.
"We had a good week of practice," Betschart said.
"The objective is to get better each week.
"Our guys are aware that Sonora is a higher caliber of team than Fairfield."
Other action tonight includes Atwater's first home game. Beyer (0-2) will make the trip to Atwater (0-2).
Atwater was scheduled to open the season at home, but poor air quality in Merced County forced Atwater to travel to Nevada Union Sept. 7.
Chowchilla (3-0) will face its former coach, Scott Donegan, when it travels to Madera South (0-3).
Golden Valley will find itself short-handed against Sonora.
Wingbacks Sergio Gutierrez (ankle) and Tyler Servin (hamstring) will both sit out.
Senior Matt Montiel, who scored a 10-yard touchdown last week, should get more carries.
Senior Caleb Fiedor is likely to see more time at cornerback to help fill the void left by Gutierrez on defense.
Both defenses should be familiar with the offenses they'll see tonight, since they run similar option attacks.
"It presents certain advantages," Betschart said. "Our scout offense knew what they were doing all week. But it's tough to simulate anything live of another team's first offense."
With just two games before GV opens Central California Conference play against Atwater, Betschart hopes his team can continue to make progress.
"We told our guys last week that Merced was out there at 2-0 and everybody else had a loss," Betschart said.
"If we continue to improve, we could be one of the three, four or five teams battling for a playoff spot."
Shawn Jansen is a Sun-Star reporter. He can be reached at 385-2462 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.