Things didn't go very well from the start for Brethren Christian on Friday night.
The Warriors took the opening kickoff at Lakewood Artesia High, marched all the way to the Cerritos Valley Christian one-yard line and couldn't score.
Valley Christian countered with a 99-yard drive for a touchdown and that set the tone for the evening as the Crusaders grabbed a 42-18 victory before a crowd of about 1,200 in the Olympic League opener for both schools.
Throw in three blown extra-point attempts, several penalties and two interceptions, and you get the picture that this wasn't the Warriors' night.
"They kind of overwhelm you," Brethren Coach Ken Sharrar said.
Valley Christian senior running back Kenchasa Amos, who sat out last season to concentrate on basketball, carried 20 times for 205 yards and one touchdown. Valley Christian, passing only when it had to, built its lead to as many as 23 points. Crusader fullback Michael Cunningham carried 12 times for 76 yards and three scores.
Brethren's junior quarterback, David Priestley, passed for 203 yards, but he had difficulty leading the Warriors into the end zone.
"We came in thinking that we could take away their tight end and we did that," Valley Christian Coach Mike Wunderley said. "That put a lot of pressure on our guys to the outside early in the game."
Brethren tight end Kevin Cooper, who entered the game with 27 catches for 317 yards, was quiet most of the night. He caught four passes for 58 yards and one touchdown, but the score came with just more than a minute remaining with the game out of reach.
With Cooper out of the way, Priestly, who got in only a handful of plays in his sophomore year before an injury ended his season on the junior varsity, passed into the flat numerous times to Jay Christensen. Christensen caught nine passes for 111 yards. But Valley kept him well away from the end zone.
Valley Christian wasted little time when it had the ball as Cunningham and Amos pounded away at the middle of Brethren's line. Valley Christian needed only 21 first-half plays--20 less than Brethren had--to build a 21-6 lead.
"Valley Christian is just so balanced," Sharrar said. "They are so talented offensively and they have the guys who can take your game away from you."
Brethren running back Daniel Muilenburg carried 14 times for 95 yards and two touchdowns, including one that tied the score , 7-7, with 10 minutes left in the second half.