Aside from Escondido Charter, opening night of the 2021 football season wasn’t a kind one to other local teams.
While the White Tigers rolled to a highly impressive 55-0 win over a Hamil- ton squad from Anza, Escondido High and San Pasqual found the going mighty tough.
For starters, the Cougars were dealt a 54-7 setback courtesy of the Del Norte Nighthawks. And though the Golden Eagles managed to fare better, they still had a challenging time of it while falling to Scripps Ranch by the count of 56-20.
Meanwhile, other Escondido-based schools such as Calvin Christian, Classi- cal, Orange Glen and San Pasqual Academy weren’t scheduled and are due to swing into action either this week or next.
It’s hard to imagine Esco Charter getting off to a better start than what it showed against the overmatched Bobcats. Excelling on both sides of the ball, the White Tigers gave notice that this could be a breakout season for coach Jon Goodman’s crew.
Offensively, EC was a juggernaut both on the ground and through the air. Run- ning backs Dayne Patterson and Travis Mitchell proved to be a potent one-two punch as they combined for a notable five rushing touchdowns. And the passing game also did its share of cooking with talented quarterback Rocko Huntsman hooking up with receiver deluxe John Scates on a pair of scoring tosses, high- lighted by a 60-yard connection.
Not to be outdone, the defense went into genuine lockdown mode, holding Hamilton to a mere 84 total yards. Ringleaders on the defensive side were Noah Reyes—who registered four tackles for loss that featured two sacks, lineman Adam Pincock who recovered a pair of fumbles and defensive back Danny Lo- pez, the architect of two interceptions.
In the game’s aftermath, Goodman was pumped about what he saw from his evolving and maturing squad. “I couldn’t have been happier,” said the coach. “We played hard and smart and with a lot of energy. And our experience is starting to show.”
The White Tigers will look to keep their momentum going when they travel
south for a late afternoon tilt with O’Farrell Charter this coming Friday.
As for San Pasqual, the Golden Eagles were hoping that the start to their 50th season of varsity competition would be a memorable one but that wasn’t to be the case. SP simply couldn’t keep up with a Scripps Ranch squad that in some re- spects executed as if it was in midseason form. Moreover, the fact that SP turned the ball over three times clearly undermined its efforts to push the Falcons to agreater extent.
Behind Jaylen Shaw’s impactful rushing and quarterback Jax Leatherwood’s three paydirt passes, SR generated 456 yards in offense and seemingly scored from beginning to end.
Thanks to three TD totes from Shaw as well as a Leatherwood 30-yard scoring toss to Ethan Rochet, the Falcons tallied 28 points in the first half which placed them in a very advantageous position.
But give the G. Eagles credit for hanging around as Noah Snyder and fullback Wes Parker found the end zone with 4 and 6-yard carries that kept things reason- ably close at intermission. And when Parker scored another touchdown in the third stanza that brought the count to 35-20, SP still had an outside chance.
However, shortly thereafter Leatherwood hit wideout Conor Lawlor in the flat and the result was a backbreaking 31-yard catch-and-run that basically put things away.
Looking for a strong bounce back effort, coach Tony Corley’s crew will travel to Chula Vista this Friday night where they’ll take on host Olympian, a team also searching for its first win of the season.
Meanwhile, Escondido trailed by only 13-7 after the first quarter but then the visiting Nighthawks went into overdrive with a 27-point second stanza that set- tled matters.
On the night, the Cougars were able to generate just 147 yards in total offense and a costly four turnovers haunted the locals.
The Nighthawks had stars aplenty including sophomore quarterback Jack Schneider (4 TD passes), shifty running back Martin Hill (179 yards, 2 TDs) and wideout Jonah Kang (121 yards, 3 TDs).
Coach Jud Bordman’s bunch will seek to regroup and get into the victory col- umn this Friday evening against winless Canyon Hills.