December 16, 2018
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The Cougars defeat the Jaguars at homecoming

  • Homecoming Court Friday, October 5, was Rancho Cotate High School's 52nd Homecoming. Also introduced at half-time was the Homecoming Court, Princesses from the freshmen class, Delia Rantissi, sophomore class, Lois Auriol and junior class, Louise Cabrera. Jane Peleti

  • Hupp nearly over the line Cougar Ryan Hupp is seen making a scoring reception in Rancho's game against Windsor last Friday. The box score was 44-0. Robert Grant

  • Rancho Cotate High School's 52nd Homecoming and during half-time of the football game, Homecoming King and Queen - Hector Cuevas was crowned king and Dayana Auli was crowned queen. Jane Peleti

By: Josh Rheinhart
October 12, 2018

The Rancho Cotate Cougars demolished the Windsor Jaguars, 44-0, Fri., Oct. 5th at their stadium in Rohnert Park. 

The game wasn’t even close, really. With the Cougars still smarting from their rousing defeat last week against Cardinal Newman, they seemed to want to vent some of that frustration and the Jaguars proved the perfect punching bag. The Cougar’s defensive line held the other team still while their offensive line smacked ‘em around. 

It wasn’t gentle. 

“The loss against Newman made us hungrier. It taught us a lot of lessons—important lessons that I wish we didn’t have to learn,” said Cougar head coach, Gehrig Hotaling. “I had some perceptual issues with how we were practicing that week. I thought it was going well and in hindsight it wasn’t. We revamped some things and it translated into this game.”

Every quarter in the game belonged to the Cougars, but the first one set the tone for the night. 

Right from the opening kickoff, the Cougars stole the momentum and kept on pressing. Cougar wide receiver, Brandon Proschold, charged up the right side of the field. He was wide open and Cougar quarterback, Jared Stocker, took notice. Unfortunately, the Jaguar defensive line pressed him hard, and at the last minute before the sack, Stocker chucked an 18-yard pass that landed in Proschold’s waiting hands for a touchdown. 

This was our best week of practice we’ve had all season,” Proschold said. “This was our homecoming game and we’re trying to bounce back from our loss at Cardinal Newman.”

Later in the first half, the Cougars kicked off after scoring a field goal. The Jaguars started deep in their own territory and they struggled to move the ball. First one play failed, then the next, and before they knew it the Jaguars were staring down the barrel of another punt—not their first of the evening. That’s when Cougar defensive end, Trevor Lee, slipped behind the Jaguar lines and sacked their quarterback, causing a fumble. Cougar wide receiver, Connor Barbato, recovered, and a few plays later the Cougars scored. 

And that wasn’t even Barbato’s finest play that night. 

No, that happened early in the second quarter. Around mid-field, the Jaguars found a gap in the Cougar offensive line. They broke through and charged Stocker. Stocker dodged a tackle by Jaguar defensive end, Lucas Fowler, and fired off a last second 37 yard pass. Barbato was under pressure, but he dove and caught the ball with outstretched fingers. The completion positioned the Cougars deep in Jaguar territory where they later secured another field goal. 

“Everyone succeeded tonight: offense, defense, special teams. They all meshed really well,” Barbato said. 

At the start of the fourth quarter the Cougars were so far ahead that they met the threshold to trigger the running clock. The game ended shortly after that and it was a dejected and a downcast Windsor team trudged off the field. 

“Our barometer for success is how we play against ourselves,” said Hotaling. “That’s how we approached things. It’s all about how we do and there just so happens to be another team on the field.”

The next game for the Rancho Cotate Cougars will be Fri. against Maria Carrillo.