CI keeps its cool to win opener

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© Tiffany israel/OUHSD
© Tiffany israel/OUHSD
An efficient passing game, several key defensive plays and an inspired second-half effort all played significant factors as Channel Islands High opened its 2011 football season with a 20-14 nonleague victory over Santa Barbara on Friday night at Channel Islands High.

Steven Gutierrez threw two touchdown passes, the last one to Mark Raigoza with 7:57 remaining in the game, and defensive back Joey Suna intercepted two passes as the Raiders twice rallied from behind en route to the victory.

Gutierrez also hit talented tight end Jeremiah Valoaga for a third-quarter, 36-yard touchdown pass that tied the game 14-14. Valoaga, a 6-foot-7, 229-pound senior, also caught a 55-yard pass from Gutierrez and finished with seven catches for 128 yards.

Channel Islands’ ground game was sparked by junior running back Richard Gray, who carried 19 times for 139 yards and one touchdown.

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