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September 16, 2021

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Foothill improves to 4-0 with shutout win over Green Valley

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The Foothill Falcons improved to 4-0 on the season and 1-0 in league play with a 33-0 victory over Green Valley on Thursday.

Foothill wide receiver and defensive back Kyle Keplinger had a big night for the Falcons in the Sunrise Southeast Division opener.

He hauled in two receptions for 81 yards and two touchdowns on offense. On the other side of the ball, Keplinger intercepted two Gator passes and returned one of them for a defensive touchdown.

“The first league game always means a lot,” Keplinger said. “You want to come out and make a name for yourself and make a name for your team.”

After struggling on offense in the first quarter, Foothill got on track in the second quarter.

On the first play of the second quarter, Falcon quarterback Parker Riggin hit Keplinger for a 46-yard touchdown. Keplinger blew by a defensive back and Riggin hit the open receiver in stride for the score.

Running back Connor Afoa tacked on the 2-point conversion to give the Falcons a 10-0 lead.

Afoa had a long punt return in the second quarter to set up the Falcons second touchdown of the evening. He weaved through Gator defenders and almost broke free for the touchdown before he was tripped up. Afoa finished off the drive with a touchdown to give Foothill a 17-0 lead.

Foothill added on another touchdown just prior to halftime to give the Falcons a 24-0 lead at the break.

Riggin connected with wide receiver Connor Waitkus for a 42-yard catch on the first play of the two-minute drill. On the next play, Riggin hit Keplinger for a 35-yard catch that went for a touchdown.

“Riggin made two great plays on the drive before half,” said Foothill head coach Marty Redmond. “Riggin and Waitkus both saw a mismatch at the line of scrimmage on the first play, and Riggin audibled for a big play. Then he was able to hit Keplinger for the score on the following play.”

Foothills defense was dominant on the evening as the Gators struggled to move the ball all night long.

On the second play of the second half, Keplinger stepped in front of a Gator receiver and intercepted the Paul McKay pass for a 22-yard interception return for the touchdown.

Keplinger’s defensive touchdown to start the second half gave the Falcons a 31-0 lead and put a damper on any comeback hopes the Gators may have had.

The Falcons recorded their second safety of the night to extend their lead to 33-0 in the third quarter. Foothill blocked a Green Valley punt through the end zone for the safety.

Foothill preserved the shutout with an interception in the end zone on the final play of the game.

“It feels good,” said Redmond when asked what it’s like to start of the season 4-0. “We expect a lot out of this team. We expect to come out and compete and be competitive in league play.”

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