Cougars drop home opener to Live Oak

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Live Oak used Jacob Ryder’s 77-yard-run in the second play of the second half as a spark on its way to a 14-35 win over the Cougars.
Ryder had two touchdowns in the first half on 35 yards to keep Live Oak in the game against a tough opponent who was seeking its second win of the season. In the second half he had two touchdown carries that were more than his first half total; 77 and 50 yards.
The Acorns put the game away with 43.9 seconds in the third quarter with their second touchdown of the half. Live Oak began with possession from their own 46-yard line after Christopher’s punt and it only took three plays to score. Quarterback Jonathan Singleton faked a handoff to Cole Davis and ran for 29 yards down the left side of the field. Ryder finished the drive with a 15 and 10 yard carry to put Live Oak up by two touchdowns.
Ryder finished with 214 rushing yards and 5 touchdowns.
The perfect two-punch for the Acorns was Cole Davis. He carried the ball 13 times for 64 yards and had three receptions for 29 yards.
Ryder and Davis accounted for more than half of the offense’s yardage. Live Oak totaled 501 yards to Christopher’s 286.
“We just kept doing what we did, moving the pocket and running our running backs and trying to control the line of scrimmage,” said Live Oak’s coach Mike Gemo.
When the running backs weren’t causing problems for the Cougar defense, quarterback Jonathan Singleton was. He used both his arm and legs to move his team up the field. He completed 12 passes out of 26 attempts for 132 yards and rushed for 67 yard. His main target was Alex Cornejo with five catches for 35 yards.
“We definitely spread it out well (rushing and passing) and (Cole Davis) surprised me a lot tonight and he did really well,” said Ryder.
It didn’t start well for Singleton. His first pass attempt was intercepted by Payton Mitchell. Christopher, however, could not take advantage of the turnover. Instead they shot themselves on the foot.
After the turnover, the Cougars had back-to-back false starts and were forced by the Acorns defense to a three-and-out.
It was that kind of a night for quarterback Ryan Adamkiewicz and the rest of the Cougars.
One play can summarize the Cougars’ night: Down 14-21 in the third quarter with the ball on their own 49-yard line, Christopher lined up to go for it on fourth down with one yard to go. They did not get a play called, instead the Cougars got called on a false start. Facing a fourth and six yards, they decided to punt it.
The Cougars tallied eight false starts.
“We just had far too many penalties on us tonight. We need a lot of work,” said Christopher’s coach Tim Pierleoni. “We need to make sure we learn from this game and go get back on the chalk board.”
Not everything was negative for Christopher. They put up some great drives were they overcame their own mistakes.
Christopher opened up the score board on a drive where they got called on a false start on Live Oaks  43-yard line and an illegal block in the back on a scoring play that was called back to 24-yard line and set them up at a second and goal. Adamkiewicz connected with wide receiver Noah Liberatore on a 24-yard touchdown to take the lead.
For the second score Adamkiewicz completed a pass to Dylan Olivares near the Acorn’s 40-yard line. Olivares broke three tackles and ran into the end zone, but the Cougars got called on a block on the back near the 6-yard line and the ball was put 16 yards from the end zone. Fortunately for Christopher three plays later Adamkiewicz threw to Jason Scirigione for a six-yard touchdown to tie the game at 14 with 2:55 left on the first half.
Adamkiewicz threw the ball very well the first half. He completed 14 of his 27 attempts for 229 yards.
Live Oak’s defense put pressure on Adamkiewicz in the second half sacking him four times and limiting him to four completions from his 11 attempts.
“They did a really good job when they would bring it. They brought a lot of pressure on us,” said coach Pierleoni.
Christopher will look to bounce back against Carmel at home Friday Sept. 9, while Live Oak will try to keep the momentum going against hometown rivals Sobrato also at home.

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