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Defense leads Canyon to win over Westlake

Cowboys pick off five passes, limit Westlake to 45 rushing yards

Posted: August 30, 2013 11:24 p.m.
Updated: August 30, 2013 11:24 p.m.
 

WESTLAKE VILLAGE — Need evidence that this Canyon football defense was sick of being maligned last season?

The evidence was at Westlake High, where the Cowboys beat the former rulers of the Northern Division, the Westlake Warriors, 23-16 on Friday night in a defensive Picasso.

Canyon made five interceptions on the night, including two for touchdown, sacked Warriors quarterback Malik Henry twice, and gave up a total of 45 rushing yards.

“Man, it feels good right now,” said Canyon senior defensive back Matt Roy, who took an interception 55 yards for a touchdown as time expired in the first half to give the Cowboys a 17-10 lead. “Coming in, we had a lot on our minds, but we knew this team would make us better.”

Westlake won the Northern Divsion title in 2011 before the whole Marmonte League went to arguably the state’s top division — the Pac-5.

So Canyon (1-0) knew it had its work cut out for it.

But Westlake came into the game with five starters suspended for an incident that allegedly took place last week on a team trip to Hawaii.

By the end of the game, Westlake (1-1) was without nine starters after injuries.

However, Canyon had numerous cramp problems on the hot and humid night.

“It was survival of the fittest, and maybe they made one more play,” said Westlake head coach Jim Benkert. “Maybe two more plays.”

That second would be Zach Cuha’s 80-yard interception for a touchdown with 6:35 to play in the fourth quarter.

Elijah Williams, Israel Cabrera and Tevon Priestley also had interceptions.

Priestley had a monster game, with three pass breakups as well.

“This will be a good year,” Priestley said about the Cowboys defense.

Ronnie Walker also had a sack and a tackle for loss.

As for the Cowboys offense, it wasn’t pretty but it was effective.

Quarterback Cade Apsay was 16-of-29 for 270 yards, with a touchdown and an interception.

With the Cowboys trailing 10-3 in the second quarter, Apsay found receiver Alec Abbinanti on a fourth-and-12 for a 14-yard score.

Liam Cabrera caught seven Apsay passes for 115 yards.

Running back Myron McAfee ran the ball 22 times for 100 yards.

Westlake kicker Kevin Robledo made three field goals but missed on field goal attempts of 37 and 47 yards.

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