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CIF football: Positive arrives

Canyon ends a negative week with convincing playoff victory against Palmdale

Posted: November 19, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: November 19, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Canyon running back Daniel Castro (5) escaped the clutches of Palmdale’s Mark Cisneros to score the Cowboys’ first touchdown in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Northern Division playoffs.

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Take away as many wins as you want to from Canyon High football on paper.

On the field, the Cowboys are the real deal.

Canyon found the end zone on three of its four possessions in the first half on the way to a 21-0 shutout of Palmdale on Friday night in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Northern Division playoffs at Canyon High School.

It was a welcome dose of positive news for Canyon after being stripped of a win earlier in the week which cost the team a co-Foothill League title due to a CIF rule violation involving an ineligible player.

The win gives Canyon its second straight trip to the second round of the playoffs, which will put the Cowboys on the road against St. Bonaventure.

Palmdale (6-5) did its best to keep the ball on the ground and sustain lengthy drives, but the Cowboys (9-2) made the most of their chances early in the game, including two Drew Wolitarsky touchdown catches.

After a scoreless first quarter, Canyon got on the board at the 10:21 mark of the second quarter when Daniel Castro took a handoff 21 yards for a touchdown to take a 7-0 lead.

It was Castro’s longest run of the game as he finished with 74 yards on 11 carries.

Later in the quarter, quarterback Jonathan Jerozal found Wolitarsky on a 2-yard slant play for his first score to make it 14-0 with 3:30 to go in the half to cap off a 10-play, 77-yard drive.

Jerozal completed passes to seven different receivers and ended up 13-for-22 with 224 yards, two touchdowns and two second-half interceptions.

The final score of the game came on the final play of the first half when Jerozal floated the ball over two Falcons defenders and into the hands of Wolitarsky, who streaked down the sideline for a 77-yard score.

Wolitarsky had four receptions for 114 yards.

After halftime, both defenses clamped down and the Falcons continued to give the ball to tailback Demario Richard, who ground his way to 104 rushing yards on 27 carries.

Palmdale struggled to get much production from the arm of quarterback Shaun Gutierrez, who was pressured most of the evening.

He ended up with 6 passing yards on a 2-for-7 night.

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