Person scores every which way in Rams’ CIF blowout

There’s more than one way to get into the end zone, especially when lightning-fast Randy Person is on the 8-man football field. The Cate School Rams’ versatile running back and defensive back scored on a kickoff return and interception return before his team even recorded a first down in a 48-0, mercy-rule victory over visiting Victory Valley Christian on Nov. 14.

Person set the tone by returning the opening kickoff 74-yards for a touchdown, completing the dazzling run with a side step that left Victor Valley’s kicker chewing on grass. His next score came on a 38-yard interception return with 8:15 remaining in the first quarter that took the air out of a usually potent Victor Valley passing attack.

Community West Bank“Playing 8-man, it’s fun. Sometimes it’s almost like playing a video game,” said Person, who added a rushing touchdown and a passing touchdown in the second quarter. “I’m not going on to play Division 1 in college or anything, so I just try to have fun.”

Person gained 128 yards on 14 carries, including a 54-yard touchdown run. He passed the ball 24-yards to a wide-open Luke Shover for a fourth touchdown, all in the first half. Neither of his two receptions went for touchdowns, so he was short of scoring in each of three offensive ways to score.

With the victory, the 6-1 Rams will host top-ranked Windward High School  (8-0) in round two of the CIF Southern Section Division I 8-man football playoffs on Friday, Nov. 20, at 7:30 p.m at Carpinteria Valley Memorial Stadium.

The Rams battled off-field distractions entering the game but remained focused. Three unnamed starters were kicked off the team for undisclosed reasons two days prior to the game. “We could have said we lost our captain, we lost two other starters and used all of those excuses, but we responded the way I wanted us to,” Rams coach Ben Soto said.

Soto called it a team victory. Even though Person shined above the rest with spectacular scores, solid play on the defensive line contained athletic Victor Valley quarterback Josh Harris. Struggling to stay on his feet against a persistent pass rush, Harris did not complete a pass until the third quarter. Defensive linemen Ugo Nwasike, Jackson Mauze and Lukas Ferrer came at Harris from every direction. Nwasike had one sack. Mauze had three, and Ferrer had one. “We funneled Harris in, and it worked,” Mauze said.

The secondary pulled in three errant passes for interceptions. In addition to Person’s first-quarter pick, Shover had two interceptions, the second resulting in the game-ending touchdown with 4:39 remaining in the third quarter.

Cate’s backup quarterback, junior Greg Mak, appeared determined to end the game early after the half. The mercy rule is enacted after a team goes up by 45 points in the second half, and with Cate up 28-0 coming out of the break, Mak made good on two rushing attempts with two touchdowns. The first came on a five-yard draw play, and the second on a quarterback keeper around the left end for 32 yards to put his team in position to close it out.

Cate ended its season last year with a 50-0 loss against a powerful Windward squad that remains stacked this season.

1st quarter
11:46 — Kick return touchdown. Randy Person, 74 yards (PAT no good)
8:15 — Interception return touchdown. Randy Person, 38 yards, . (Two-point conversion Randy Person run)

2nd quarter
6:00 — Randy Person 54-yard run (extra point good)
4:21 — 24-yard pass, Randy Person to Luke Shover (extra point good)

3rd quarter
9:15 — Greg Mak, 5-yard run,  (extra point no good)
5:54 — Greg Mak 32-yard touchdown run (two-point conversion Mak shovel pass to Jackson Mauze)
4:39 — interception return, Luke Shover, 30 yards

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