Ground game paces CCHS homecoming win
September 26, 2016
Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.
Email This Story
With a sea of red-dressed spectators anxiously awaiting kickoff from their seats in Manchester Stadium alongside the Los Locos student section, the Cathedral Catholic High School varsity football team extended its undefeated season record last Friday with a 49-7 rout of Liberty High School from Bakersfield, California.
“We came out tough and played aggressively,” CCHS starting center Hayden Center ’18 said about the team’s win last Friday night at the annual homecoming game.
CCHS returner Ryan James ‘17 fielded the opening kickoff, returning the ball to the 40- yard line of CCHS. Following the opening field position, the Dons could not convert and went three and out in its first series after the starting quarterback Tate Haynes ‘17 was sacked.
Forced to punt, the Dons pinned LHS deep at its own 20-yard line.
Marching down the field, LHS converted several third downs to find itself in CCHS territory. However, the CCHS defense held, and the LHS field goal unit missed the kick, allowing the Dons to take over at its own 20-yard line.
As the first quarter came to a close, the Dons unleashed its hurry-up offense, which resulted in runs by Adam Eastwood ‘17, Shawn Poma ’19, and Jake Goddard ’18 that led the Dons across the midfield into LHS territory.
The punishing ground attack on display would remain in effect for the rest of the game.
“[We put] big man on big man and asked them to dominate,” Offensive Line Coach Jim McCullough said about the Dons running game. “And they did.”
Eastwood broke through the secondary and scrambled to the one yard line for a run of 25 yards. He converted a few plays later, and following a kick from Liam King ’17, the Dons were on top 7-0 with 10:41 left in the second quarter.
After a return following the CCHS kickoff, LHS took over at its own 33-yard line. The Dons’ defense smothered the LHS offense, forcing it into a three and out situation. Defensive end Miles Mccormick ’19 tied the ribbon on the stop with a sack of Liberty’s quarterback for a five-yard loss.
The LHS punter shanked the ensuing kick, giving the Dons prime field position at midfield.
It was all Dons for the rest of the second quarter.
Poma scored on a 52-yard run, weaving his way through LHS defenders to score his second touchdown of the season, extending the Dons lead 14-0 with 8:04 left in the second.
On LHS’ next possession, the Dons defense forced a LHS fumble, allowing the CCHS offense to take over on the LHS 37-yard line.
Promptly, Haynes threw a 42-yard pass to Jordan Genmark-Heath ’17 on the first play of its possession for another CCHS score, putting them up 21-0 with 6:39 left in the second quarter.
“It’s still 0-0,” CCHS Running Backs Coach Ebere Winston said from the sideline.
LHS trotted off the field without a first down, and the Dons took over on its own 37-yard line. Haynes threw a deep 39-yard pass deep to Antoine Lee ‘17 and running back James followed the catch with a run of his own to position the Dons within the red zone.
Eastwood took the following handoff and walked into the end zone for his second score of the night, advancing the lead to 28-0 with 3:27 left in the first half.
King’s next kickoff resulted in a touchback. Following a few outside runs, LHS strung a couple of first downs together and found itself at the CCHS 40-yard line.
After a penalty on the Dons helped LHS convert a key third down, LHS crossed into Dons’ territory. The LHS quarterback launched a deep pass for a Liberty touchdown with 1:51 left in the half, trimming the Dons lead to 28-7.
With a desire to score once more before the half ended, the Dons came out with high energy. With a long 66-yard run from Eastwood, the Dons found itself inside the red zone with less than 30 seconds remaining.
It was Eastwood for five yards, and then three more yards when Haynes was forced to spike the ball. On fourth and goal, Haynes dropped back to pass, but his throw was batted down by a LHS defender, ending the first half with the Dons leading 28-7.
The second half started much like the first had ended: a dominating Dons’ defense and an unstoppable ground game.
LHS fumbled the football on its first possession of the half, and the Dons recovered.
Eastwood then scampered for a 35-yard touchdown, his third of the game, making the score 35-7 with 11:34 left in the third quarter.
LHS once again began its drive, but failed to convert on third down and punted the ball to the Dons’ 11 yard line. Following a few quick passes and a rush from Haynes, the Dons found itself on fourth down with one yard to go.
Taking a risk, the Dons converted to earn a fresh set of downs. After a few long runs, the Dons were once again in the red zone, and it was Eastwood to take it in, making the score 42-7 with 5:51 left in the third quarter.
With two minutes left, the Dons found itself in the red zone once more. This time it was Jack Lewis ‘17 with the score, ending the game with the final score of 49-7 Dons.
The Dons totaled six rushing touchdowns last night, with Eastwood accounting for four touchdowns.
After a bye week, the Dons will play next Oct. 7 at Scripps Ranch High School.