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Antelope Valley’s Victory Over Muir a Special One

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TIMES STAFF WRITER

Shake it off.

Or maybe, in Chad Shrout’s case, shake a leg.

Shrout, Antelope Valley High’s standout kicker, was uniquely qualified to comment on the lunacy that passed as special-teams play in Friday night’s nonleague game with Muir.

He was in the middle of much of it.

“Weird things happen in football games,” Shrout said. “You just have to expect it and adjust, and be supportive of each other.”

Antelope Valley’s fine-tuning was more than enough as the Antelopes whacked Muir, 39-21, at Pasadena City College.

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Fittingly, Antelope Valley, ranked 13th in the state, put the game on ice on a special-teams miscue. The game was filled with them: fumbled punts, botched kickoff returns, bad snaps, etc. Everything under the moon.

With Antelope Valley (4-1) holding a 32-21 lead in the fourth quarter, the offense stalled and Shrout punted inside the 10, where Rodney Bonwell fumbled. Antelope Valley recovered the ball at the Muir 15, and four plays later, tailback Jermaine Lewis scored from two yards for a 39-21 lead with 4 minutes 3 seconds remaining.

Lewis, a sophomore, was bottled up in total yardage (72 in 21 carries) but managed to score four touchdowns.

Shrout booted a 37-yard field goal to open the scoring in the second half, giving Antelope Valley a 26-14 lead. Muir crept within 26-21, however, when Jeremy Bonwell threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Nigel Younger with 2:10 left in the third quarter.

Antelope Valley’s Chad Murphy returned the kickoff--what else--38 yards on a fake reverse to help set up Antelope Valley’s next score, a 15-yard run by Lewis with 10:42 left in the game. The first half was madcap, mainly with respect to special teams. Both teams botched at least two kick returns or extra-point plays, including one miss by Shrout, who couldn’t locate his tee and badly topped the kick.

Antelope Valley trailed, 6-0, before Lewis scored on a two-yard run as time expired in the first quarter. On the extra-point try, Antelope Valley pulled a fast one by snapping the ball to short man Trymon Redick, who bolted in for an easy two points and an 8-6 lead. Redick, a sophomore, ran for a team-high 98 yards in five carries.

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Antelope Valley quarterback Mike Gleich was not sacked, and completed 10 of 18 passes for 104 yards. Conversely, Jeremy Bonwell (12 of 21 for 159 yards and three touchdowns) was sacked six times and finished with minus-16 yards rushing.

The Antelopes took a 15-6 first-half lead when, after Muir (3-2) was forced into a kicking situation, the ball was snapped over Mustang punter Vaughn Lucas’ head for a 29-yard loss. Lewis pounced on Lucas at the Muir three-yard line, then scored on the next play with 9:08 left in the half.

Muir again foundered on its next possession, but received a break when Chris Tapia fumbled the punt and the Mustangs recovered at the Antelope Valley 20. Four plays later, Bonwell connected with Younger on a six-yard scoring pass.

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