Christopher High (7-2, 3-2) avenged a two-game losing streak at home Friday night when the Cougars blew out the Watsonville 42-14 in a crucial Monterey Bay League-Pacific Division game that kept their playoff hopes alive.
“They played a little upset tonight,” said Christopher coach Tim Pierleoni. “When you lose two games in a row that’s a bad taste and they wanted to get it out.”
Junior quarterback Ben Sanford ran the Cougars’ precision passing attack beautifully, leading the offense to four unanswered touchdown drives on the way to a 28-0 lead before Watsonville could get on the board.
“Ben did a great job, but it was our offensive line tonight; they did a great job,” Pierleoni said. “We ran the ball well, they pass protected well and Ben did a great job throwing, but it all starts out there in front on both sides of the line.”
The Cougars’ offense was running on full power, four plays into the game when senior wide receiver took a handoff through a hole cleared by Christopher’s hefty offensive line on the way to a 65-yard rushing touchdown.
It was all piling on from there.
Cougar backs, senior Jon Scarcella and junior Tyler Davis chewed up yards as Sanford diced up the Wildcatz’ defense. Sanford was explosive, throwing two scoring strikes of 28 and 17 yards to junior tight end Scirigione, a 44-yard bomb to tight end Payton Mitchell and a 50-yard touchdown to wide-open wide receiver Joseph Cupp.
“I can’t thank my line enough and my wide receivers for the plays they made,” said Sanford who had 227 yards passing and four touchdowns. “Coming into this, Coach P (Pierleoni) said we had to put max effort into this. That was our main goal after two consecutive losses and we definitely got it done.”
As effective as the offense was, the defense was equally as potent.
The hits kept coming the entire night. None, however, was as nasty as the shot administered by Crawford to a Wildcatz wide receiver, who was drilled in the back, dislodging the ball but also drawing a personal foul on the defense. The crowd and coaching staff was not pleased by the call and the penalty yards helped lead to a Watsonville’s second touchdown of the game.
For Watsonville (5-3, 2-2), next to nothing went right a week after it defeated Monterey High 41-14 last week. For the Wildcatz, the loss dims playoff hopes that were already fading.
“They were at their best and we didn’t step it up,” said Watsonville Head Coach Ron Myers. “It’s still a game of blocking and tackling and we didn’t do either very well tonight. It’s that simple,”
For the Cougars, playoff hopes are restored but coach Pierleoni cautioned his team not to get too caught up in the victory.
“We have a chance, but we need to win out,” Pierleoni said.
The Cougars will next travel to Monterey next Friday to take on Coach Dan Brown’s 3-6 Monterey High Toreadores who were blown out by Gilroy.