Before the 2019 season started, West Valley returning quarterback Kitt McCloughan said the Eagles had a state championship offense. For it to come to fruition, McCloughan was going to have to raise his level of play to provide balance to keep defenses honest when they’re trying to stop the run.
McCloughan passed his first test against Foothill Friday night in the Tri Counties Bank Game of the Week thanks to the emergence of speedy wide out Hayden Boyes, who was appearing on offense for the first time this year. McCloughan led a fourth-quarter comeback, trailing by 14 points and leading three scoring drives in the fourth, handing it off for the game-winning touchdown with 47 seconds left to win 20-14. He made the throws he needed to in the second half, completing 6 of 8 passes for 215 yards and a touchdown against a Foothill defense that was daring him to throw. For that, McCloughan is the Redding Rancheria Player of the Game.
McCloughan only completed 1 of 5 passing in the first half for eight yards. But he took advantage of the aggressive Foothill defense through the final two quarters.
“We had 9 or 10 guys in the box, they wanted us to throw,” said West Valley head coach Greg Grandell.
And he may have found a new favorite receiver in Boyes, who was often wide open on the play-action passes, screens and even caught a pass at the highest point, reaching out for the ball over a Foothill defender. McCloughan’s night could have been even bigger if it wasn’t for two penalties that negated touchdowns in the game — one a deep 79-yard pass to Josh Aguilar on a wheel route and the other to Boyes for a 25-yard screen pass.
With McCloughan stepping into his throws, there’s an extra element opposing defenses have to worry about this fall from the Eagles.
Redding Rancheria Player of the Game
- Shasta County Sports Report – Jan. 27-Feb. 2
- Tri Counties Bank Boys Basketball Team of the Week: U-Prep Panthers
- Tri Counties Bank Girls Basketball Team of the Week: Shasta Wolves
- Northern Section Basketball Power Rankings: Foothill boys strengthen grip on No. 1; Enterprise, Shasta girls each jump three spots
- GALLERY: Shasta College men knock off No. 13 Redwoods 87-76