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Delhi defeats Big Valley Christian in convincing fashion
Hayden Steger plows through the line during the Hawks' 48-18 win over the Lions on Friday. - photo by FRANKIE TOVAR / The Journal

Delhi High wanted the 2013 season to be different; it wanted to taste sustained success on the gridiron and compete for the Southern League title. Last week the Hawks took their first step towards that goal with a shutout victory against Galt High, and then followed it up with a second, more convincing, step on Friday with a 48-18 victory over Big Valley Christian High.

Rather than soar, the Hawks pounded the rock on the ground with the help of Joel Cantu, Reinaldo Medina, Hayden Steger, and quarterback Garret Thomas. Despite its offensive success, it was Delhi’s special teams that shined at home as Ricco McCombs returned two kicks and one punt for touchdowns.

“We got a lot of them (weapons) in the bag and at this point I’m just curious to see how it’s going to play out in the end. If we can stay healthy I see a lot of good things,” head coach Rod McCombs said.

Cantu kicked off Delhi’s scoring frenzy with a 16 yard touchdown run with less than five minutes into the first quarter. Soon after, with the score tied 7-7 after a Lions TD, McCombs—a transfer from Turlock High—scored the first of his three touchdowns on a 46 yard punt return.

“Be ready, play hard, and keep playing,” McCombs said of his mindset entering the game. “It’s great playing a full game; I just love being on this team.”

After a 36 yard touchdown run from Thomas and a one yard touchdown plunge from Medina in the third quarter, McCombs tacked on a 75 yard kick return in the third quarter before scoring his final touchdown with another kick return from 70 yards out with 59 seconds left in regulation.

“I’m putting this on the offseason training. We had 45 kids that were showing up on a daily basis during the summer, getting the weight room in and lots of conditioning in,” Coach McCombs said. “We’re just well prepared.”

Cantu finished with 117 yards on 11 carries for 1 touchdown while Medina ran for 61 yards on 15 carries for two touchdowns. Thomas chipped in with 57 rushing yards for 1 touchdown.

Delhi must now play its first road game next Friday against Riverbank High in what many Hawks are considering a grudge match of sorts.

“They’re a tough team. They came to our house last year and they left with a big win on their shoulders,” Coach McCombs said. “Right now they’re one up on us and we want to get it back; we still have a bad taste in our mouth about what happened last year and we want to wipe that out.”