Last home game memorable for Sun Valley’s Gordon

ASTON — Kijana Gordon wanted to make his last home game at Sun Valley memorable. The senior running back has been a highlight in an otherwise disappointing season for the Vanguards. To hear him talk, though, you would never know it.

“It’s been great,’ Gordon said of his four years wearing the blue, gold, and white of Sun Valley. “I loved it a lot. I know the results aren’t there, but I love working hard every day.’

He capped his home career on Friday night against Ches-Mont League foe West Chester East in stellar fashion. Although the Vanguards fell to the Vikings 36-17, Gordon was the game’s top performer. He carried the ball 24 times for 202 yards. Gordon scored on a 37-yard touchdown in the first quarter. He doubled that run in the third with a 75-yard score. Once he broke through the line, he wasn’t going to get caught.

“The offensive line does it all,’ Gordon said. “I just got past them. After I hit the first hole, I just pick up speed and go.’

His second score brought Sun Valley to within seven of East. The Vanguards held the momentum and, through Gordon, showed big play potential that threatened the Vikings’ tenuous grasp of the lead.

To their credit, the visitors responded. East quarterback Jon Jon Roberts took a keeper 43 yards for a score. On Sun Valley’s next play, Zach Casey intercepted Gabe Boccella and returned the ball 20 yards for the touchdown. The Vikings took a commanding 36-15 advantage in nine seconds of game time.

“It was a fun football game,’ Roberts said. “You can’t take anyone lightly.’

Roberts epitomized East’s effort. At times, he was tremendous. On the Vikings’ third play from scrimmage, he hit Zaevahn Murrey for a 65-yard touchdown to open a 7-0 lead. Roberts finished with 208 total yards and two scores. But he also threw two interceptions and lost a fumble, three of four East turnovers.

“Yeah they’re killers,’ Roberts said of his miscues. “Obviously, I wasn’t at my best individually tonight.’

However, the junior signal-caller made up for the mistakes on the defensive side of the ball. Roberts picked off two passes, one in each half. He returned the first interception 76 yards for a touchdown after the pass deflected off Gordon’s hands. Roberts giveth and he taketh away.

“I think we actually messed up coverage,’ he said of the long return. “We got a lucky bounce.’

Emmanuel Creekmur, who rushed for 79 yards on 13 carries, added a second quarter score to give the Vikings (4-6, 2-5 Ches-Mont) a 22-7 halftime lead. They never trailed in the game. A high snap through the end zone in the fourth quarter gave Sun Valley (3-7, 2-5) a late safety and completed the final scoreline.

Gordon’s five-yard run with little more than three minutes remaining pushed him over 200 yards for the evening. He commended the Vanguards’ effort.

“We don’t have a big school, so we have to have everybody step up,’ he said. “We’re always going to give 100 percent throughout the game.’

The night was special for Gordon, as all Sun Valley games are.

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