FOOTBALL: Cougars win fourth quarter but lose game 44-14 to Condors

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After watching his team fall behind North Monterey County 37-0
late in the third quarter, head coach Tim Pierleoni huddled the
Christopher High football team together on the sideline and
implored his group to

just play football.

CASTROVILLE – After watching his team fall behind North Monterey County 37-0 late in the third quarter, head coach Tim Pierleoni huddled the Christopher High football team together on the sideline and implored his group to “just play football.”

On the ensuing kickoff, Bryant Cid, after receiving the ball, pointed straight ahead at the defender in his running lane and charged headstrong into him. The collision echoed and the impact knocked off the Condor defender’s helmet.

The Cougars’ bench erupted. When you’re down 37-0, what else is there to lose?

“I was just looking get some of my anger out,” said Cid, who also had an interception in the first quarter. “I wasn’t playing my best game at the time and I thought, ‘kickoff return, no better time to get it started.'”

The Cougars (2-5 overall, 1-3 MBL) eventually succumbed 44-14 to their Monterey Bay League counterpart but didn’t go down with out a fight.

“I’ve had them for two years now and I’ve never seen them give up,” Pierleoni said.

After Cid’s bulls-eye on the kickoff return, the Cougars manufactured a15-play, 77-yard drive. Nic Slater carried the ball nine times for 47 yards in a trip that concluded with Brandon Pickens finding Mikey Pirnik in the flat for a 10-yard touchdown. The Cougars converted a 2-point play (Pickens to Takoda Bowers) to make it 37-8 with 9:13 to go in the game.

“We have really big heart on the team,” Pirnik said. “Coach P tells us that we have to play each half as a new game. Big hits and big plays always fire us up. We want to make sure everyone knows we are no push over.”

CHS looked as if they had solved some of its offensive woes on its next series of downs. Pickens hit a wide open Patrick Valdez running free on a wheel route 47 yards down to the North Monterey County 18-yard line. But, the drive stalled four plays later,

The Condors, content at that point to run the ball right up the middle to burn some clock, punted the ball to a waiting Cid stationed at the Cougars’ 45-yard line.

The junior corralled the low line-drive punt headed right up the sideline made one move at the 10-yard line to shake off the kicker and scooted into the end zone. The following 2-point conversion failed leaving the score 37-14 with 1:45 to play.

“If we play four quarter we are bound to get something going,” Cid said.

North Monterey County tacked on a 20-yard touchdown run with under a minute left to expand its lead, which blossomed early on in the ball game.

Fernando Guevara scored on runs of 17 yards and 13 yards to put the Condors ahead 14-0 after one quarter,

The Condors (7-1 overall, 3-1 MBL) picked up a safety and a 7-yard touchdown from Guevara to increase their cushion to 23-0 at the break.

CHS hosts Seaside next Friday night at Garcia-Elder Sports Complex. The Spartans (5-2, overall, 3-1 MBL) defeated previously unbeaten Monte Vista Christian 27-21 this week.

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