|Cougars done in by turnovers in loss to AC
Rancho Cotate coughs it up six times in 56-12 drubbing at hands of American Canyon
Fortunately for Rancho Cotate High School's football team, the stakes on Sept. 20 were not as high as they were when the Cougars lost last year's North Coast Section Div. II title game to Clayton Valley, but the Cougars' 56-12 loss Friday night to American Canyon proved eerily similar.
Against American Canyon, the Cougars again buried themselves early with an avalanche of turnovers, fell behind early and never recovered. The Wolves took advantage of three first quarter turnovers for a 28-0 lead by the end of the first quarter and never looked back. Rancho Cotate committed six turnovers, which led to 42 of the Wolves' points.
This matchup was billed as a significant intersectional game because the Wolves last year advanced to the Sac-Joaquin Section Div. III semifinals while the Cougars were making their run to the NCS final. But this game was as one-sided as it gets.
"Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong...what are you going to do?" Rancho Cotate head coach Ed Conroy said. "We're not as bad as we looked. We would like to have played better, but that's a very good football team we played tonight."
Conroy is expecting his team to perform much better tonight when the Cougars host Windsor in the North Bay League opener. The game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. at Cougar Stadium.
Windsor, in its second year in the NBL, will bring a 2-1 record into tonight’s contest and is fresh off a 29-23 victory over Washington of Fremont. Defense doesn't seem to be the Jaguars’ strong suit, as they’ve allowed an average of 28 points per game through three outings.
Besides the bevy of turnovers, the Cougars had no answer for American Canyon's overall team speed, particularly running back Jomon Dotson, whose 82-yard touchdown run on the second play from scrimmage set the tone for the night.
"Their speed crept up on us," Conroy said. "One thing we tell the kids is that the film lies and teams are faster in person, and that No. 10 (Dotson) was way faster than our kids anticipated. But we also didn't tackle well."
Dotson battered Rancho Cotate's defense for 193 rushing yards and five touchdowns. He also scored on runs of 34, 29, 2 and 9 yards. Dotson already has received 15 offers from Div. I colleges, including California, Fresno State, Arizona and Nebraska. Scouts from Colorado were also at this game.
For the first time in school history, Rancho Cotate was so far behind entering the fourth quarter that game went to a running clock. When a team is trailing by 35 points in the fourth quarter, the game goes to a running clock. The Cougars were down, 56-6, heading into the fourth quarter.
The Cougars, trailing 35-0, finally got on the scoreboard when Carlos Franco rambled 28 yards for a touchdown with 8:23 remaining in the first half. A bad snap on the extra-point attempt left the score at 35-6.
After American Canyon tacked on 21 more points, Rancho Cotate's final touchdown came late in the game on a 20-yard touchdown run by Michael Ross.