The local prep football teams from Jurupa Hills and Kaiser played each other for the first time ever on April 3, and in the end, the Spartans were the ones celebrating a big victory.
Quarterback Patrick Ragan ran for three touchdowns and threw for another TD as Jurupa Hills vanquished the Cats, 42-16, at the Spartans' field.
Coach Citos Marinez was pleased that his Spartans were able to topple such a traditionally powerful opponent, thereby raising their record to 2-0.
"Anytime you compete against Kaiser, you're competing against a good football program with great coaches and kids that play hard," Marinez said. "I'm very proud of our kids and the way they stepped up to this challenge."
Jurupa Hills took control early and raced to a 35-0 lead against the stunned Cats (1-1), who had won Sunkist League championships the past two seasons and had achieved the CIF title in 2018.
The Spartans marched in for a touchdown on the game's opening drive, helped by a 10-yard screen pass from Ragan to Bryan Calderon. Ragan plunged over the goal line from 1 yard out.
"I want to thank God for the opportunity and also my O-Line and my receivers for always pushing me to be my best," Ragan said. "It was a great team effort; we worked really hard for it."
On the ensuing kickoff, the Spartans recovered an onside kick to maintain possession. Then receiver Trayton Cooper took a handoff and dashed 33 yards around the left side, putting the Spartans on top, 14-0.
Jurupa Hills kept up the hot pace in the second period as Ragan threw a 60-yard pass to Cooper for a touchdown and also ran into the end zone two more times on gains of 14 and 33 yards.
Kaiser tried to come back as quarterback Trevian Tribble went around the right side and sped down the sideline for a 51-yard touchdown, pulling the Cats within 35-8 at halftime.
The Spartans countered with a 1-yard TD by Calderon in the third quarter, and a short touchdown blast by Kaiser's Dustin Chaidez completed the scoring in the final period.
An apparent 85-yard touchdown by Jordan Napier of Jurupa Hills was wiped out by a penalty.
Marinez said a key to the victory was the excellent work of offensive linemen Jesus Colin, James Fetzer, Danny Diaz, Arthur Requejo, and Victor Ramos as well as defensive linemen Andy Juarez, Aaron Muniz, and William English.
"We played really well in the trenches, and I think that gave us the advantage," Marinez said.
Ragan completed 7 of 11 passes for 113 yards and carried the ball 8 times for 84 yards. Calderon gained 63 yards in 11 rushing attempts, while Stacy Bey had a 23-yard run and a 26-yard reception.
Cooper rushed 7 times for 58 yards and caught 6 passes for 123 yards, including a 45-yard reception on an option pass from Andray Freeman. Cooper was one of the standouts on the 2019 team which tied for the league title.
On defense, the Spartans were aided by Johnny Ramirez, who made 3 solo tackles and 7 assists. D'Andre Collins had 3 tackles and 4 assists, English had 2 tackles and 5 assists, Carlos Calvillo had 2 tackles and 2 assists, and Cristian Rosel had 5 assists.
Jurupa Hills will travel to Rim of the World on April 10 and then will return home to face city rival Summit on April 17. Kaiser will visit Arroyo Valley on April 10 and will host San Gorgonio on April 17. All games are at 10 a.m.