By Tim Peterson
(Downey) Jayden Daniels racked up 518 yards of total offense and accounted for all eight touchdowns to lead Cajon to a 54-28 victory over Downey Saturday night in the CIF Division 4 Finals at Allen Layne Field.
Daniels rushed for 279 yards and four touchdowns including TD jaunts of 99 and 53 yards. He also threw four touchdown passes and had 239 yards through the air overall.
Twice Cajon went on 21-0 runs, the second of which put the game away in the third and into the fourth quarter. Downey battled throughout but was simply outmatched by a better team.
The Vikings led 14-7 in the first quarter and cut the lead to 34-28 early in the third but each time they were hit with a Cajon blitz.
Tre Noriega caught an 8-yard touchdown pass from Daniels on Cajon’s first possession for an early 7-0 lead. Downey countered with a pair of Baraq Ross touchdown runs of five and 11 yards to grab a 14-7 advantage. The second Ross TD run came after Cajon failed to convert a first down on its own 42 yard line.
Cajon then went on its first run. First Daniels capped a 65-yard march with a three-yard run. On the next possession, Daniels weaved his way through the Downey defense for a 55-yard score early in the second. Daniels connected with Noriega again – this time for a 29-yard touchdown.
The Cowboys then pinned Downey deep in its own territory on the ensuing kickoff. Two plays later Viking quarterback Kijjon Foots was intercepted by Jhevon Hill and Cajon had the ball at the Downey seven yard line. On the first play Jeremiah Martin was on the receiving end of a seven-yard Daniels TD strike and just like that it was 34-14 with 5:38 left in the first half.
Downey wasn’t ready to go quietly into that good night however. Foots hit Chris Atkins on an 18-yard touchdown pass two minutes later to make it 34-21 at the half.
On Downey’s first possession of the third quarter, the Vikings got right back in it. They drove 70 yards on five plays with Ross finishing it with a 15-yard run to cut the lead to six.
That was as close as the Vikes would get however as Cajon kicked it into high gear. A 43-yard touchdown pass from Daniels to Dejuan Moon made it a two score game. On the next series Downey pinned Cajon back at its own one-yard line only to see Daniels bust through the line and outrun the Viking secondary for a 99 yard TD sprint.
In the fourth quarter Daniels and the Cowboys put the game on ice as the junior quarterback got loose for a 55-yard run to glory.
Darren Jones had five catches for 68 yards to help Cajon’s cause. But It was Daniels who was the Vikings’ undoing. For Downey Ross finished with 160 yards and three touchdowns and Foots threw for 227 yards and a score. Atkins had six catches for 89 yards and a TD.
Cajon hasn’t lost since September 8 and completed the championship season at 13-1. Downey, which was appearing in its third CIF title game in six years, finished the year at 11-3. The Vikes played well enough to beat most teams, but on this night this wasn’t just another team, it was Cajon.
C 13 21 14 6 54
D 14 7 7 0 28