A kick in the stomach for Shadow Hills

Leading 28-16 with less than four minutes to play, most teams would believe they had a football win well in hand. But a series of strange twists turned a win into a gut-wrenching loss for the Shadow Hills Knights Friday night. The Knights lost to Yucca Valley 31-28.

A quick 55-yard scoring drive by Yucca Valley, an onside kick that the Knights failed to recover and a deflected pass that was batted away from the intended Yucca Valley receiver into the waiting arms of another Trojans receiver for a touchdown were all just part of a loss that had the Shadow Hills coaching staff angry, upset, frustrated and stunned. A late dropped pass that could have turned the game back toward Shadow Hills didn’t help, although Yucca Valley had dropped a similar pass in the first half..

The close loss to Yucca Valley comes on the heels of a 50-47 loss to Banning a few weeks ago. Two close games that could easily have gone Shadow Hills way instead were losses, and Shadow Hills is 3-3 instead of 5-1. Instead, the coaching staff is asking if the Knights know how to win a close game.

The tough part for coach Ron Shipley and his assistant coaches is how to get the players focused again after a very, very, very tough loss. Shadow Hills can still make the CIF playoffs, but they will need some help from Yucca Valley in losing a game Yucca Valley might not expect to lose.

“Well, we’ve got no choice,” Shipley said about rebounding for Friday’s home game against Twentynine Palms. “We’re going to line up against Twentynine Palms and try to win the game.”