Cabrillo scored twice in the second half to gain the upper hand on San Marcos on Friday night, as the Conquistadores won their first contest of 2012 in a 27-14 decision at Warkentin Stadium.
“I think both teams showed that it was our first game,” said Cabrillo head coach Craig Knowles. “I think we did a lot of good things, a lot of positives. Definitely a lot of things we need to improve on if we’re gonna play at the caliber I think these guys can play at.”
The Royals played Cabrillo tight in the first half and the game was tied 14-14 at the halftime break. The first half featured several long-scoring plays, including a 63-yard bolt by Cabrillo’s Alex Green in the second quarter. San Marcos answered with a 35-yard passing touchdown from Wes Ghan-Gibson to Esteban Alfaro just three minutes later.
The Royals are coming off a 1-9 season while Cabrillo reached the CIF Northwest Division Championship game and finished with an 11-3 record.
“We didn’t come out flat like we used to do and we had a lot of energy,” Ghan-Gibson said. “But, I mean, we still have to finish. But we definitely put it out there tonight.”
In the second half, Cabrillo scored on its first possession to take the lead for good. On the fifth play of the drive, Bryce Moses broke free for a 38-yard touchdown run. [VIDEO HIGHLIGHT]
Nick Pence contributed his own 34-yard run on the second play of the 73-yard drive. Pence was also responsible for the Conqs first score, a 30-yard rumble that came on and 4th-and-1 play.
“It was zero-to-zero was our concern coming out of the half,” Pence said. “And we just played like that. The team worked as a unit and got the win.”
San Marcos was within one possession until late in the fourth quarter when Cabrillo added their final score with just 9.2 seconds on the clock.
“To a man, I think they surprised themselves,” said Royals head coach Anthony Linebaugh. “We as a staff see how good they can be. Now I think they have an idea that ‘hey, we can be good.’ We’re not there, but we can be good.”
The Royals’ first touchdown was a nice-looking play that caught the Cabrillo defense reacting to the run and letting Austin Pugh sneak into the back of the endzone. Ghan-Gibson took the snap and handed off to Cameron Whitney moving towards the left sideline. Once the ball was being carried, no defender stayed with Pugh and Whitney lofted a 16-yard touchdown throw to the junior wide receiver. [VIDEO HIGHLIGHT]
San Marcos plays at home again next week, welcoming Rio Mesa to Warkentin Stadium.
Cabrillo travels to Righetti, which fell 28-21 to Villa Park in its opener.