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Prep football: Canyon seals rebound season

Cowboys shrug off slow start to rout Grizzlies

Posted: November 11, 2010 11:57 p.m.
Updated: November 12, 2010 4:55 a.m.
 

The turnaround is complete.

One year after finishing the regular season 2-8, Canyon finishes the 2010 regular season at 9-1 and in second place at 4-1 in the Foothill League heading into the postseason.

Canyon overcame a slow start on Thursday to defeat Golden Valley 47-8 at Canyon High.

“The potential’s there, but we can’t come out like that,” said Canyon head coach Chris Varner. “We’ve got to come out swinging. These kids did a good job, and we’re looking forward to next week.”

Despite a fumble recovery on the Golden Valley 37-yard line and 30 first-quarter penalty yards against the Grizzlies, Canyon managed only seven first-quarter plays, including a missed 53-yard field goal attempt by Mohammad Roknipour.

The Grizzlies dominated time of possession early on as they pounded the Cowboys defense on the ground behind running backs Jeff Coprich and Earl Johnson, who accounted for 12 of the team’s first 16 plays from scrimmage.

Coprich would finish with 122 yards rushing on 21 carries, while Johnson carried 12 times for 56 yards.

Canyon found success early in the second quarter, however, as quarterback Jonathan Jerozal found wide receiver Drew Wolitarsky on a deep post for a 64-yard touchdown to give the Cowboys the 7-0 lead.

After the score Canyon recovered Johnson’s fumble on the ensuing kickoff, which led to a Jerozal 1-yard touchdown run to cap off a six-play drive that lasted 1:56 to give the Cowboys a 14-0 lead.

Canyon never looked back as it continued to stymie the Golden Valley passing attack, holding Grizzly quarterback Reid Soliman to 139 yards passing and one touchdown on 15-of-30 attempts.

The Cowboys entered the half up 20-0 after Jerozal found wide out T.J. Yonkers for a 30-yard touchdown.

With 5:41 remaining in the third, Yonkers hauled in his second touchdown pass of the game from Jerozal to give the Cowboys a 27-0 lead.

Jerozal added three more passing touchdowns on his way to 367 yards on 15-of-22 attempts with five touchdowns.

The Grizzlies would finally get on the board with 11:45 to play as Soliman found wide out Isa Bey for a 43-yard touchdown reception.

Wolitarsky led Canyon in receptions, finishing with 158 yards and two touchdowns on just four catches.

Canyon opened up to a 47-8 margin in historic fashion with just 3:39 remaining, as Sean Guzman took a hand off in his own end zone and emerged from a dog pile at the goal line to sprint 99-yards for the touchdown.

With the score, Guzman set a Canyon school record, eclipsing the mark of 91 yards set by Jon Calso in 1996.

“I was just trying to get the ball out of there and figured we’d have to punt it and he popped it,” Varner said. “He’s a great kid and it’s good that he’ll be in the record books forever.”

Canyon now turns it’s focus to the CIF-Southern Section Northern Division playoffs as the Cowboys will wait to hear if they will host a game next Friday.

“I’d like to think we’re in the right direction,” Varner said. “We’re going to have some opportunities to play some really tough teams coming up and that’s where we have to get it done.”

The Grizzlies, despite going 3-7 overall and 0-5 in league, took huge steps forward, as they were within striking distance of their first-ever Foothill win three times.

“The bar has been raised,” said Golden Valley head coach Andy Campbell. “Having gone through it for a second season, having gone through it with these kids and knowing with these seniors, seeing the torch that they’re going to pass, we’re in good hands. I’d look for us to make some waves next season.”

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