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’Cats tumble in pre-league finale

Los Osos’ defense proves too strong for West Ranch offense

Posted: October 9, 2009 11:59 p.m.
Updated: October 10, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Los Osos running back Victor Smith (1) gets tackled by West Ranch linebacker Derek Georgio, right, during Friday's game at Valencia High School. The Wildcats lost 47-7 in their final game before Foothill League play begins.

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West Ranch head football coach Sean O’Brien knew his team’s pre-league finale would show him what could be fine-tuned heading into Foothill League play.

After being overwhelmed by the defense of Los Osos of Rancho Cucamonga in a 47-7 loss Friday at Valencia High, O’Brien uncovered something else.

“We’ve got to fill the hole that was in ourselves a little bit today,” O’Brien said. “I don’t like the reaction we had to a quality opponent. We will face many of those in (league).”

West Ranch (3-2) got on the board with 34.5 second left in the game, when junior quarterback Connor Eichten rolled to his left and found senior tight end James McGough from 13 yards out.

Wildcats junior kicker Brady Stuart added the extra point to make the score 47-7.

Eichten finished 7-of-15 for 50 yards, while McGough led the team with two receptions for 29 yards.

“Players are going to have to look deep inside themselves and go to places inside themselves they’ve maybe never had to go before,” O’Brien said, “and decide if, ‘When I’m up against it, when I’m up against a guy who is better than I am, what is my response going to be.’”

The Grizzlies (2-3) built and early lead off the quickness of wide receiver Sean Alston and an unrelenting defense.

Senior quarterback Blake Loncar hit Alston for touchdowns of 63 and 61 yards in the first half.

The wideout finished with six receptions for 179 yards and returned a punt 60 yards for a touchdown late in the second quarter.

“(Alston) verbally committed to Fresno State last week,” said Los Osos head coach Tom Martinez. “He’s worked hard all four years. So has Blake, so it was kind of nice to see that little combination come together.”

Loncar was 9-of-11 for 219 yards before being replaced by junior Kori Grant in the third quarter.

Los Osos also got a 6-yard touchdown rush up the middle from senior Kailen Wright and a score from senior defensive end Tony Washington, who returned an Eichten fumble 10 yards to the end zone.

The Grizzlies went into halftime up 35-0.

On Washington’s touchdown, Los Osos senior defensive back Garrett Tobin burst through the line and tackled Eichten to force the fumble.

“We knew we were better than our record showed,” Martinez said. “You know, we just had to put it together.”

The Grizzlies added a 10-yard touchdown run by junior running back Cody Rogina in the third quarter but missed the extra point.

Junior Andres Megallon kicked field goals from 28 and 42 yards out to push the lead to 47-0 with 3:34 remaining in the game.

Rogina carried the ball nine times for 58 yards.

His counterpart, West Ranch senior running back Zak Snell, finished with 11 carries for 24 yards.

Trevin Manuel rushed for 26 yards off nine carries for the Wildcats, while junior teammate Christian Sullano carried the ball twice for 29 yards.

“It’s one thing to get run over by a guy who is 80 pounds heavier and stronger and faster,” he said. “It’s another thing to fold up, and we folded up too much.”

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