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Prep football: Cowboys close it out

Canyon edges Burroughs in season opener on Jerozal’s keeper

Posted: September 12, 2010 12:04 a.m.
Updated: September 12, 2010 12:04 a.m.

Canyon’s Max Archuleta, center, breaks a tackle by Burroughs defenders Nick Brown (91) and Casey Barbello, right, on Saturday at Canyon High School. Canyon won 37-31.

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Canyon kept its opponent alive all night with turnovers, but in the end, the Cowboys hung on for a season-opening win Saturday night.

Canyon topped John Burroughs of Burbank 37-31 at Harry Welch Stadium thanks to a nine-play scoring drive in the fourth quarter that put the Cowboys up for good.

The drive was capped off by a 3-yard touchdown run by junior Jonathan Jerozal on a quarterback keeper. Jerozal also threw for two scores and completed 17-of-22 passes for 272 yards and an interception.

“We knew we’d be in for a dogfight,” Canyon head coach Chris Varner said. “We’re capable of a lot more than that.”

Though it was Canyon’s first game, Burroughs (0-2) played last week against Saugus. The Indians’ experience showed, as they jumped on opportunities given to them early in the game.

Canyon (1-0) turned the ball over on its first two possessions, starting with a Jerozal interception on the third play from scrimmage. His ball floated into the hands of senior cornerback Bo Faunce at the Canyon 39-yard line. He returned it to the 6, which set up a Burroughs touchdown scamper by senior tailback Tadeo Zuniga on the next play.

It served as Zuniga’s only score of the night, but he finished with 133 yards on 30 carries.

Trailing 7-0, the Cowboys coughed up the ball on a botched exchange between Jerozal and running back Darius Rudolph near midfield. Despite the fumble, Rudolph posted 94 yards on 17 carries and two touchdowns in the game.

“We were banking on the fact that they hadn’t played a game yet,” said Burroughs head coach Keith Knoop. “I felt like we played a pretty good game.”

Varner dismissed the idea that starting the season a week later than the opponent affected his team’s play.
“That sounds like and excuse, and we don’t make them,” he said.

After the Indians took the early lead, the Cowboys began to find the end zone with the help of solid kick returns from Rudolph throughout the game. His best return of the night came midway through the second quarter when he took the ball 68 yards as he spun through Burroughs defenders along the left sideline.

“It was nice to see him out there making plays,” Varner said of Rudolph’s play. “He’s only just beginning to see his potential.”

Rudolph’s scores both came off 1-yard runs and the second one came in early in the fourth quarter, which gave Canyon a 31-23 lead at the time.

Burroughs scored 14 points off Canyon turnovers, but they used Zuniga late in the game to keep it close. He was responsible for most of the yardage on a 12-play drive that tied the game at 31 with a 3-yard touchdown toss from quarterback Lucas Yanez to wide receiver Matt Volland on fourth-and-goal.

When the Indians trailed by six with just over two minutes to play, they simply didn’t have time to put together a long drive on the ground.


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