FOOTBALL: Late touchdown lifts Christopher over Watsonville, 30-26

 

A 1-yard sweep into the end zone by Nic Slater on
fourth-and-goal lifted the Christopher High Cougars over
Watsonville in come-from-behind fashion 30-26 in Monterey Bay
League action Friday night in Watsonville.
A 1-yard sweep into the end zone by Nic Slater on fourth-and-goal lifted the Christopher High Cougars over Watsonville in come-from-behind fashion 30-26 in Monterey Bay League action Friday night in Watsonville.

Slater piled up nearly 200 yards of offense, galloping for 91 yards on 12 carries and hauling in five passes for another 108, adding two scores, including the game winner.

Slater’s short-yardage score capped a five-minute drive, which covered 60 yards and ended with just 60 seconds left in the fourth quarter.

“We were able to milk the clock on that last drive,” head coach Tim Pierleoni said. “The best part is that we didn’t give them much time.”

One final defensive stand preserved the lead to give the Cougars (3-6 overall, 2-4 MBL) the victory in their league finale. Matt Almeida picked up a sack with 12 seconds to go, thwarting the Widcatz’s (0-9 overall, 0-6 MBL) drive at the Cougars’ 25-yard line.

The Cougars trailed 13-8 at halftime and fell deeper into deficit after the Wildcatz scored on their opening offensive series of the second half.

Down 19-8, CHS began its comeback march, kick started by a Brandon Pickens-to-Patrick Valdez scoring connection. The Cougars grabbed the lead, 23-19, on a Bryant Cid touchdown catch, before relinquishing the advantage to the Wildcatz, 26-23, with roughly six minutes and change to play in the fourth before completing the game-winning series.

“The kids played with a lot of heart,” Pierleoni said.

Pickens concluded his evening 20-of-31 passing for 339 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Cid caught five for 48 yards and Valdez four for 34 yards. Freshman tight end Takoda Bowers, snared three balls for 25 yards, all three resulting in “big” first downs, Pierleoni said.

“We didn’t make any mistakes and didn’t have any turnovers, and I believe that’s how we won that game,” Pierleoni added.

The Cougars wrap up their season against crosstown rival Gilroy next Friday at Garcia-Elder Sports Complex.

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