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Tough Knight for Canyon football

After three strong weeks to start season, Canyon struggles to contain Notre Dame

Posted: September 27, 2013 11:19 p.m.
Updated: September 27, 2013 11:19 p.m.

Canyon's Liam Cabrera (20) goes in untouched for the touchdown in the first quarter to tie the game against Notre Dame at Notre Dame on Friday.

 

SHERMAN OAKS — This was a Canyon Cowboys team with a lot of momentum headed into Friday night’s marquee matchup against a state power.

By game’s end, the momentum and confidence turned into head scratching and frustration as the Notre Dame Knights of Sherman Oaks carved through a usually stout Canyon defense for a 45-21 win at Notre Dame High.

“We’re not used to giving up 45,” said Canyon wide receiver/defensive back Liam Cabrera of his team’s first loss of the season. “We’ve been known for our defense.”

The Cowboys (3-1) allowed 30 total points through their first three games, but they had no answer for Notre Dame’s read-option attack that mostly featured running back Chris Colarossi.

The senior finished with 202 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 21 carries for the 21st ranked team in the state, according to CalHiSports.com.

He often bounced the ball outside and broke tackles on his way to big gains.

“These are the types of games where mistakes are going to get you,” said Canyon head coach Rich Gutierrez. “The team that makes the least amount of mistakes is going to come out ahead.”

Some of those mistakes were on offense as well.

Canyon easily marched down field for a 12-play, 93-yard scoring drive capped by a Cade Apsay 6-yard pass to Liam Cabrera.

It was one of two touchdown passes caught by Cabrera, who finished with nine catches for 105 yards.

On Canyon’s next drive, it was once again moving the ball well until a fumbled handoff gave the ball back to the Knights (4-1) at their own 19-yard line.

It was 10-7 early in the second quarter at that point. Notre Dame scored to bump the lead to 17-7 at the 4:08 mark of the second.

Up to that point, the Canyon offense was moving the chains with consistency. It was unable to score on its next four drives. By that point, Notre Dame had opened up a 24-7 lead well into the third quarter.

“The first drive they made it look easy,” said Notre Dame head coach Kevin Rooney of Canyon. “And after that we made it a little bit rougher for them.”

Apsay tossed a 44-yard scoring pass to Dominic Somilleda with 3:16 to play in the third quarter to cut the lead to 24-14, but the Knights instantly answered back with a six-play scoring drive to essentially put the game away late in the quarter.

“It just shows we’re not the best and we need to get better,” Cabrera said.

Apsay completed 24-of-38 passes for 333 yards and three touchdowns.

Notre Dame scored all six of its touchdowns on the ground, accumulating a total of 297 rushing yards.

Koa Farmer, Mike Ramos and quarterback Grant Kraemer all scored for the Knights.

“We did a good job. It was a very good night,” Colarossi said. “The offensive line did a great job. We definitely wanted to win this game.”

In contrast, the Cowboys tallied just 69 rushing yards on 21 attempts overall.

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