Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Cougars Take Two out of Three in Season Openers

The San Lorenzo Valley High School boys football teams, Freshmen, JV and Varsity, opened their 2010 season under warm, bright blue skies on their Felton campus Saturday. (While I understand the economics of playing games at night - larger crowds - I doubt I would be alone in missing the atmosphere that combines to make a Saturday at SLV football games pretty special.)

The local boys took two out of three contests from Sacred Heart Prep; winning the Freshmen and JV games 12-7 and 44-12 and losing the Varsity match 24-7.

In the opener, Sacred Heart took the opening kickoff from Stephan Sutherland and began their drive on the 33 yard line. They proceeded to control the ball for most of the first quarter. Aided by a pass interference penalty and a 15 yard completion the Gators got as far as the SLV 6 yard line. On first and goal, Jordan Peabody came up with a big tackle in the backfield and the the freshmen defense stiffened forcing SHP to give up the ball on downs.

On offense SLV was led by quarterback Pat Primeau running backs Elliot Doran, Jeff Carothers and Alex Muchane. Twice SLV drives ended in turnovers but the Cougar defense seemed to get better each time it took the field. Sacks by T.J. Shaw and Peabody, strong tackling from Carothers, an interception in the end zone by Duncan Mackie and a fumble recovery by Ryan Heikens kept the game scoreless in the first half.

The second half started with Kjell Johnson returning the kickoff 18 yards and then running for carries of 12, 14 and 15 yards. An offensive pass interference penalty stalled the drive and Sacred Heart took over on their own 21 yard line. On a 4th and 10 from midfield a Sacred Heart receiver got behind the Cougar secondary and caught a pass for a touchdown. After the PAT Sacred Heart led 7-0 with less than a minute to go in the 3rd quarter.

Cougar offensive linemen Roert D’amato, Ty Wagemann, Jacob Rogge, Andrew Bernard, Jacob Sinnot and Tom Shaw came up big in the fourth quarter, opening holes and providing good pass protection. SLV got on the scoreboard when a Primeau pass to Mackie moved the ball to the SLV 12 yard line and Jeff Carothers went up the middle for the touchdown. The two point conversion failed and the score was 7-6 with 6:13 left to play

On Sacred Heart’s next possession T.J. Shaw recovered a fumble at the SLV 30 yard line and Primeau and company took over. Five plays later, on first and goal from the two yard line, Primeau dove for the score and the Cougars led 12-7 with 3:07 left to play.

A Carothers interception ended the last Sacred Heart threat and after congratulating their opponents, team captains Kjell Johnson, Pat Primeau Elliot Doran and Aiden Stolting joined their 31 class of 2014 teammates in a post game salute to the fans with wide smiles all around.

Coach Kyle Sinnot, along with assistants Steven Johnson, Riley Park and Jackson Koonce must have been pleased with the overall play of their team, which looked much sharper than in their Jamboree appearance the previous week.

The Freshmen will host Hollister next Saturday at 11:00 AM. 

As close as the Freshmen game was the Junior Varsity game was not. Head coach Mark Mercer’s team jumped out to a 12-0 lead, led 28-6 at half time and finished with a satisfying 44-12 opening day victory. Derek Poetzinger caught a 37 yard pass for a touchdown with two minutes to go in the first half and then on the second play of the second half took off for a 60 yard score. 

The team travels to Oakland to meet Piedmont Friday night.

The crowd was in a mood for a sweep when the Varsity game began and for awhile it looked like the Cougars might oblige. After Sacred Heart’s first drive ended in a fumble through the end zone SLV took over on their own 20 yard line. Their first play from scrimmage resulted in an 80 yard touchdown play that began with QB Zach Newberry throwing across the field to wide receiver Luke Roberts who unleashed a 30 yard strike to Nick Gorman who raced 50 yards to the end zone. James Connelly kicked the PAT and the Cougars were ahead 7-0.

Late in the second quarter a Sacred Heart punt took a favorable bounce and pinned SLV deep. The Cougars subsequent punt was shanked out of bounds providing the Gators with the ball on the Cougar 25 yard line. Sacred Heart capitalised on the favorable field position to score on a yard plunge to tie the score.

A 21 yard field goal with seconds remaining in the half gave Sacred Heart the lead 10-7 at the intermission.

An interception on the first play of the second half led to another 1 yard TD run by the Sacred Heart QB. The Cougars came back and were looking like they might score but a halfback pass into the end zone was picked off and Sacred Heart marched 80 yards to score on another 1 yard TD run and the final score of 24-7.

While both teams suffered turnovers and gave up a few big plays it was a competitive match played at higher level than might be expected for a first outing. Safety Nate Wood was a standout on defense and Gorman and Roberts finished the game with 146 and 108 yards receiving respectively. Newberry was 12 of 25 for 233 yards passing. For the Cougars it was certainly a better showing than last years meeting in the CCS playoffs where the Gators ended SLV’s season with 45-14 win.

SLV heads to Oakland on Friday to play Piedmont who lost their opener to Healdsburg 46-0.

Links of interest:
Photo gallery of JV game (MVP Photography)
JV Game Pictures (Facebook JV Football Page)
The Mercury News Account of the Varsity Game

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