What was supposed to be a dreary, wet, slugfest of a game turned into a ripping victory against a supremely talented archrival on their home turf. Even with a perfect 8-0 record, having beat teams soundly that were heavily favored to win, the Half Moon Bay Cougars came into the annual Skull Game versus Terra Nova understanding that in a rivalry game, favorites and underdogs do not matter. In the end, the Cougars scorched the Tigers for over 300 yards of offense, winning 45-7. This was the first time Half Moon Bay has beat Terra Nova in Pacifica this century, and with the win the Cougars locked in the Peninsula Athletic League Bay Division Championship.
The game started off looking to be evenly matched. Terra Nova has a strong passing offense, and with the absence of the expected rain, it seemed as though they would be ready to capitalize on that. The Cougars had first possession, and methodically ran the ball down the field, capping off the drive with a 1 yard TD run by Chase Hofmann. On Terra Nova’s first possession, they seemed to have a solid game plan in place...till #15 Jonathan Carrillo blitzed and sacked their QB ending their initial drive. However, two possessions later, the Tigers did score on a 8 yard passing play, tying the game at 7-7.
However, that was the last time Terra Nova was in the game, because at this point, the Cougars took off and never looked back. In the 2nd quarter, HMB scored twice more, once on another rush from Chase Hofmann, and a spot on corner end-zone pass from #8 Gavin Tomberlin to #11 Dylan Willams.
Keeping the momentum going in the 2nd half, the Cougars scored on their first drive, with #26 Jake Quosig running in from 3 yards out. #21 Chase Hofmann scored again on a 10 yard run, and then Dylan Williams hit a 33 yard field goal. By this time, HMB was easily in control of the game. Turning to their Jumbo package, #12 Tristan Hofmann entered the game to grind out the clock. Taking the pitch, Tristan drove into the middle of the line, but then squirted out the side to the surprise of everyone, and ran 45 yards for a touchdown to cap the score at 45-7.
Defensively, the Cougars kept strong pressure on the Tigers all game. In addition to holding the Tiger offense to only 130 yards passing, they also kept the rushing game to -2 yards, and kept them to only 36% 3rd down conversion. Leading the team in tackles was #13 Sean Fitzgerald, who had 5 tackles, 1 fumble recovery, and successfully covered the single receiver side player all game with blanketing coverage. Along with the sack early in the game by Carrillo, #68 Bobby Lester and #58 Kellan Royce had key sacks as well.
One of the critical battles on the line was between #50 JoJo Weinberger and the Terra Nova Left Tackle. One of the keys to the game was stopping the explosive Tiger passing attack. Being outweighed by at least 100 lbs, JoJo was consistently held on almost every pass play. During halftime, the coaches adapted the defensive strategy, and coming into the 3rd quarter JoJo adjusted his pass rush. Using a solid spin move, JoJo was able to get to the QB for his first sack, and then was able to get there again the next series, knocking the ball loose which #15 Jonathan Carrillo recovered.
Here is the game recap video: http://www.hudl.com/v/28FS5D
The Rocky Perry Players of the Game:
Offense: #26 Slot- Jake Quosig
Defense: The entire defense
ST: #11 Kicker, Punter, Return Man- Dylan Williams
Scout: #62 OL/DL- Dillon Prosser
The JV Cougars lost a very inspired football game to the Terra Nova JV. Missing key players on both sides of the ball, young guys stepped up and gave a valiant effort in the physical game. Slot back, Connor Quosig, had a huge day on the ground, scoring both touchdowns in the 12-21 game. Praises go out to the Cougars offensive and defensive lines that dominated the game. Unfortunately, the Cougars struggled to match the big plays from the Tigers down the stretch.
This week’s Community Cougar is John Nazar. Mr. Nazar is one of our greatest supporters. His enthusiasm for our football program is unparalleled. Mr. Nazar never fails to offer words of encouragement and kindness to everyone involved in our football program. Thank you Mr. Nazar not only for what you do for Cougar Football, but also for what you do for Half Moon Bay High School and this community.
Next up for the Cougars is the the rescheduled game against Sacred Heart Prep. The game was originally planned for October 14th, but due to the poor air quality from the devastating fires in Marin County, all games were canceled. The game will be in Atherton at Sacred Heart Prep, with JV playing on Thursday November 9th at 2:45 PM, and Varsity playing on Friday November 10th at 2:45 PM. Go Cougars!