by Jay Tando

San Jacinto, CA – The beautiful Soboba Oaks Field was the neutral site “Home” turf for the host North County Zulus as they engaged in a back-and-forth affair with the visiting Santa Clarita Valley Tigers. The momentum shifted several times but the Tigers would eventually come out on top 26-14 in the Gridiron Developmental Football League (GDFL)Western Impact Division match-up (LDFL) season opener for both teams.

The Zulus would get on the board first with 13:55 to play in the 1st Quarter on a QB Terrence Wells 5-yard scamper to go up 8-0. The run followed a Tigers turnover on downs as Santa Clarita Valley had gone for it on 4th and long from their own 14-yard line and failed to convert – setting up a very short field for North County.

With 11:15 left in the 2nd Quarter the Tigers would answer with QB Jermel  Woods finding WR Chris Avilla from a yard out to cut the lead down to 8-6.

Then with just 0:18 remaining in the 1st half Santa Clarita Valley RB Marvin Wheeler would barrel in from 2 yards out and take the lead 14-8 at the break.

In the 3rd Quarter with 7:44 to go Tigers QB Woods would reconnect with WR Avilla again with a 17-yard TD toss to go up 20-14.

But with 1:42 remaining in the 3rd Quarter things got very interesting as Zulus DB Vincent Strange, Jr. would take an errant Santa Clarita Valley pass 63 yards to the house and all of a sudden it was a thriller with the Tigers clinging to a 20-14 lead.

Santa Clarita Valley would put it away with 1:04 remaining in the contest with a QB Woods 4-yard TD run – capping off a 3-TD effort by the hobbling signal-caller who had injured his ankle twice in the game.

The Tigers move to 1-0 and the Zulus fall to 0-1 in GDFL West Spring 2021 play.


The Gridiron Developmental Football League is a Professional Developmental Football League based in Memphis, Tennessee. This League was established to provide the community with high quality sports entertainment and to provide athletes the opportunity to participate in professional sports. 

We are looking at partnering with national and local area businesses in our pursuit of excellence and commitment to our community. Our commitment, dedication, and vision are set on building a firm foundation for professionalism and quality. 

The Gridiron Developmental Football League continues to strive to provide a quality minor professional level of football throughout the United States and beyond giving area athletes and fans the opportunity be a part of history. Our organization would like to thank you for your support. 

We are excited about the upcoming season and look forward to “Making AN IMPACT” in our Community. Fans can visit our website at www.gdfl.org for upcoming announcements, ticketing info, and player tryouts.

The GDFL Communications Office contributed to this article