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Canyon wants to prove itself

Posted: September 16, 2009 9:35 p.m.
Updated: September 17, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
Canyon’s football team hoped to play to its potential in the season opener.

Unfortunately for the Cowboys, they were facing perennial power Bakersfield, which won the game 43-7.

The Cowboys (0-1) get another chance to show their potential today, when they travel to Highland of Palmdale (0-1) at 7 p.m.

“From what the seniors I talked to said, (the opener) didn’t showcase what they are capable of,” said Canyon head coach Chris Varner. “They want to get back in there and kind of restart things.”

In order to do so, the Cowboys will have to improve on the basics.

“We just have to be fundamentally strong,” Varner said. “We didn’t quite get that done to the level that we need up front. We’ve just got to be able to tackle, block, catch, play football. Just got to do it better.”

Canyon gave up 28 first-half points against the Drillers.

Running back Tyler Miller scored the Cowboys’ lone touchdown, a two-yard rush in the fourth quarter.

Without naming names, Varner said he expects several individuals to play increased rolls as he tries to boil down his schemes on offense and defense.

“We simplified things,” he said. “We tried to make it a little easier for the kids. Just have them play some football, not think.”

The Cowboys will have to contend with the likes of Highland senior tight end Christian Thomas, who is ranked as the No. 7 tight end in the nation according to Scout.com.

“A lot of talent over there,” Varner said. “Skill positions — a lot of talent. I think their line is solid. It will be a good test.”

The Bulldogs lost their season opener as well, falling 20-13 to Burroughs of Ridgecrest.

Highland gave up 341 total yards of offense to the Burros.

The Cowboys hope to have that kind of success against the Bulldogs’ defense, and it starts with sophomore quarterback Jonathan Jerozal.

Jerozal completed 12-of-23 passes for 119 yards in his first start.

“I thought Jerozal, a 14-year-old kid going to Bakersfield, did a great job,” Varner said. “A few mistakes, but given the circumstances, (he) did well.”

Under duress virtually all night, Jerozal was able to find freshman wide receiver Drew Wolitarsky five times for 82 yards.

“He looked like he had been doing it his entire life,” Varner said of Wolitarsky.

So with that performance, has Wolitarsky worked himself into a bigger role?

“Oh, absolutely,” Varner said. “No question about it. Leading receiver last week, that puts him at the table.”

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