Volcano Vista High School’s football team is back in the semifinals of the state playoffs this year. But the team faces a stiff test to reach the state title game.
The fifth-seeded Hawks play No.1 Cleveland at 7 p.m. Friday at Community Stadium.
“We’re happy to be here; I feel like we’ve been here three of the last four regular seasons, and we’re just trying to take the next step,” Volcano Vista head coach Chad Wallin said. “We’re excited, but we got a big game in front of us. So the excitement’s got to be under control a little bit.”The Storm beat Volcano Vista 56-21 in September after scoring the first eight times it had the ball. The score was tied at 14 in the second quarter before costly turnovers cost the Hawks and led to a scoring barrage from Cleveland.
“The big thing is we can’t beat ourselves,” Wallin said. “We can’t turn the ball over. We got to show up to play. We’ve got to match their intensity and match their physicality.”
Volcano Vista will also need a big game from senior quarterback Elliot Paskett-Bell, who has become one of the state’s top dual-threat QBs this season. He came from relative obscurity to lead the Hawks to the playoffs, and Wallin said he’s going to be a solid quarterback at the next level.“Elliot’s been one of those guys that, by design in our program, has played receiver to try to learn our offense from a different perspective. So his grasp of our offense is phenomenal,” Wallin said. “He has a great football mind. He’s got the size, so whoever takes a shot on him next year is gonna be excited and really glad to have him”