|Rancho gets back on track with romp over Elsie Allen
After three straight losses, Rancho Cotate’s football team desperately needed to get back in the win column. Visiting the Elsie Allen Lobos Friday Oct. 16, the Cougars did not waste any time as they scored early and often en route to a 69-6 victory.
The Cougars (3-3, 1-2) entered the game rather banged up with four starters out. One of those starters was quarterback Poueu Peleti-Gore, giving way to backup sophomore Ricky Garcia. “Poueu’s been hurt, his shoulder is still bothering him,” said head coach Ed Conroy. “In a pinch he could have gone, he was suited up, but we felt Ricky could get the job done tonight.”
The first drive ended quickly with Garcia throwing an interception on the second play from scrimmage. After a quick Elsie Allen three and out, the Cougars quickly got on the scoreboard when junior tailback Brian Dworkin squirted through the line and outran the defense for a 49-yard touchdown.
Dworkin also added scores of 19 and 27 yards in the first quarter, ending the game with 209 rushing yards and four touchdowns. “It’s good to get some momentum going. We lost three tough games in a row, so hopefully we can build off this,” Dworkin said after the game.
Garcia got in on the scoring spree with a 9-yard touchdown run, disconnecting on the triple option. He later escaped pressure and scrambled for another score from 7 yards out. Garcia wound up with 36 yards passing and 32 yards on the ground with two scores.
Dworkin’s 39-yard scamper set up fullback Rickey Shelton, who punched it in from the goal line. Terence Ticzon, relieving Garcia at quarterback, scored on a 7-yard rush capping a 49-point first half. The only offense Elsie (0-6, 0-3) could muster was an 84-yard TD strike from quarterback Brent Collins to receiver Steve Phim to stave off the shutout.
Rancho kept the foot on the throttle in the second half. Dworkin scored his fourth TD of the game on a 15-yard run. Running back Justin Martin got a score in unconventional fashion, scooping up his teammate’s fumble and galloping 27 yards to the end zone. It was a great moment for Martin as he overcame a health issue to get back onto the field this season.
Another special play in the second half came when senior receiver Alex De Trinidad got into the game. The offense wasted no time and quickly threw him the ball. De Trinidad caught it and was quickly tackled for no gain, but the Rancho sideline and stands erupted in cheers. “He’s a special kid, the kids all love him. The biggest play of the game wasn’t the score, but it was Alex getting in the game and catching the ball,” Conroy said. Running back Vaimaa Taito concluded the offensive onslaught with a 42-yard touchdown dash.
Coming up for the Cougars is the homecoming game this Friday against Ukiah. The Wildcats (2-4, 2-1) struggled against Montgomery last week losing 27-5. Last year The Ranch defeated Ukiah in dramatic fashion with Brian Dworkin catching a touchdown pass in the closing seconds on the game. “We just need to try to get healthy this week. We had quite a few starters out and it was good we could rest them. We’ll do some light contact drills in practice and we’ll see where we’re at,” said Conroy.
Some of the players trying to get back in the lineup include linebacker Sergio Orduna, lineman Andrew Richardson and lineman Scott Reid. Conroy was still uncertain who would get the nod at quarterback. “We’ll have to see how Poueu’s shoulder responds, he hasn’t been able to throw the ball, but if he’s healthy he’s gonna go.”