PITTSBURG — Khai Taylor drew the assignment most dreaded by cornerbacks in the Bay Area. It was his duty Friday night to cover Valley Christian’s Division-I bound junior receiver, Jurrion Dickey.
For Taylor, it proved more an opportunity than a chore. He snagged three interceptions in the 42-20 win, including a pivotal turnover that extended the Pirates’ lead minutes before halftime.
“I was just watching film, being patient with my technique against him and confident in my ability to play,” Taylor said.
Dickey did haul in 10 catches for 179 yards and two touchdowns (one of came in the final minutes, once the game was already decided). More than half of those yards came in the second half, including a 79-yard touchdown bomb down the sideline from quarterback Jakson Berman.
“Khai Taylor did a fantastic job,” coach Vic Galli said. “I think we put a little more heat on them this week. We made some plays in the secondary.”
Berman was on the run all night, but the all-state sprinter was able to avoid all but one sack, which came at the hands of Joshua Dollarhide-Watson.
“I’ve gotta give it to their quarterback,” Galli said. “He was gutsy and running around and making plays.”
The game’s biggest play — as big as one gets in a three-score margin — was made by Taylor late in the first half.
Pittsburg running back Charles Brown Jr. had just broken off a 53-yard run that ended in one of his three touchdowns to extend the Pirates’ lead to 21-6 with just over 4 minutes remaining in the half.
The Warriors took over, after driving 99 yards for a touchdown on their previous possession.
On the first snap, though, Berman attempted a pass over the middle, into traffic. Taylor emerged with the ball, his second interception of the game. Pittsburg took over across midfield and was in the end zone four plays later, on a six-yard score from quarterback Jaden Rashada to receiver Rashid Williams.
PITTSBURG, CA – SEPT. 10: Valley Christian’s Jurrion Dickey (13) can’t catch a touchdown pass while being guarded by Pittsburg’s Khai Taylor (7) in the second quarter of their game at Pittsburg High School in Pittsburg, Calif., on Friday, Sept. 10, 2021. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)
In 2 minutes of game time, the Pirates widened their lead from to 28-6 from 14-6. They took that lead into the locker room and didn’t look back.
Rashada completed 12 of 16 passes for 166 yards, but Charles Brown Jr. had the keys to the offense. The speedy junior running back consistently made defenders miss and broke into the second and third levels of Valley Christian’s defense en route to 217 yards rushing and a trio of touchdowns.
Until Taylor’s interception, Galli was worried the Warriors were clawing back into it.
“It was scary,” Galli said. “We let guys hang around, we make mistakes — I’ve seen it happen too many times.”
The majority of Dickey’s yards, as well as both of his touchdowns, came in the second half.
The 6-2 junior said he was focusing too …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Latest News
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