Cougars hold off Alhambra in football opener
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By Dave Williams  September 13, 2013 12:00 am

The next opponent for Rancho Cotate High’s football team – Pinole Valley – has allowed 91 points in its first two games, which were losses to Montgomery of Santa Rosa and Oakland Tech.

When the two teams played early in the season last year, the Cougars rolled to a 56-12 victory. So, on paper, it appears the Cougars should fatten up some of their offensive statistics, right? Not so fast.

Rancho Cotate’s offense struggled against Alhambra of Martinez in 21-14 victory in the season opener at Cougar Stadium. In fact, if not for senior linebacker Tanoa Peleti tipping away a pass in the end zone late in the fourth quarter, it might have been a different outcome for the Cougars. Also, sophomore cornerback Chris Taylor-Yamanoha snared an interception deep in Rancho Cotate territory to keep Alhambra from scoring.

This was a sloppy game all the way around for the Cougars. They were bamboozled with an onside kick to open the game. They also bungled a field goal attempt that would have iced the game in the fourth quarter, and their passing game continually misfired in the second half. 

The Cougars, the defending North Bay League champions, took a 14-0 lead in the first half when sophomore quarterback Gunner Mefferd connected on touchdown passes to Cale Tuttle and Taylor-Yamanoha. 

Carlos Franco got the go-ahead touchdown for the Cougars on a 12-yard run in the third quarter.

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