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Cowboys comeback ends up just short

Eighteen points in fourth not enough in loss to Drillers

Posted: September 5, 2008 10:16 p.m.
Updated: November 7, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Bakersfield's J.J. Johnson scores the fourth touchdown of the game Friday, third of the second quarter, for the Drillers at the Canyon High season opener.

 
Under the lights of Harry Welch Stadium on Friday, the Cowboys opened their 2008 season against the Drillers of Bakersfield.

And while the team's offense was in high gear, defensive lapses, key penalties and miscues allowed the defending CIF Central champions to record a hard-fought 38-32 victory.

Trailing 38-14 in the fourth quarter, Cowboys scored three times to make it a close contest, but could get no closer.

Canyon started out on a shaky note as holder Chris Rivas fumbled a snap on a short field goal attempt by Tyger Rodriguez. A Bakersfield player picked up the ball and rumbled 54 yards. Two plays later, Dakota Valasquez punched it in from the 1 to give the visitors a 7-0 advantage.

But then it was Canyon's turn as quarterback Jordan Adamczyk connected early with receivers Rivas and Kevin Voogt. Chris Reed then culminated the drive on a 10-yard scamper to tie the game.

"After the fumble we got off to a good start, and took the lead," Adamczyk said. "But we just did not execute in some areas."

Drillers then scored the first touchdown of the game with a 1-yard carry by Dakota Velasquez.

Cowboys regained momentum and after a forced fumble by Nate Marrouquin, tailback Geffen Camp recovered it turning and five plays later found himself in the end zone, giving the home team a 14-7 lead.
The Drillers answer for the Cowboys came in the hands of running back Jerrick Johnson, who would score Bakersfield's next three touchdowns as the Cowboys' fell into 26-14 deficit at the half.

By the end of the second quarter, the Drillers had 168 rushing yards.

Bakersfield continued to be strong in the second half adding 12 more points to the scoreboard to take a commanding 38-14 lead into the fourth.

But then the momentum shifted in Canyon's favor. With 6:53 left, Adamczyk connected with Rivas for a picture-perfect, 67-yard touchdown (just like a Jerry Rice slant). In their next offensive series, Canyon's Camp climaxed a drive by scoring from the 10.

"I just needed to do something for my team," Rivas said. "I did all I could and I think we got some momentum from it."

Then Rodriquez recovered a Drillers fumble, returning 84 yards for the score, suddenly bringing the Cowboys to within six points. By this time, the partisan crowd was in a frenzy.

However, with less than four minutes left on the clock, Canyon was unable to close the gap, allowing the visitors to escape with a 1-0 season record.

Next Friday, Canyon travels to take on Granada Hills at 7 p.m.

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