Before walking out to Carl Thompson Field, Camarillo football players walked side-by-side hoisting a specialized No. 30 uniform, in honor of their fallen comrade Daniel Morales.
The Scorpions then played inspired football as a tribute to the former player who was stabbed to death last week, as Camarillo turned a close six-point lead into a 41-14 rout of Paso Robles on Friday, Sept. 4.
Running back Isaiah Otis was one of many Scorpion players wanting to honor the teammate they called “Mo”, who attended CHS before transferring to Newbury Park for the 2015-16 school year. Otis ran through and around the Bearcats en route to a breakout night of 253 yards and four touchdowns.
“After losing Mo, it was tough to come out here. But the motivation from him, plus us thinking about him and carrying him in our hearts got us to come out here with the win,” Otis said.
The 5-foot-9, 185-pound back showed his grit and speed against last season’s 805 representative in the CIF state playoffs. Otis took outside runs down the sideline, then trended upward for scores of 48 and 39 yards to help seal the win. The senior showed his power during one inside run in the second quarter, as he carried four Bearcat defenders on his back for a 29-yard gain that took Camarillo inside Paso’s six-yard line. Otis punched the ball in on the next play with a 6-yard score to make it 20-7.
|Isaiah Otis runs through the Bearcat defense on a 2-yard score, which was one of four touchdowns for the senior in the 41-14 romp of Paso Robles (photo by Lorenzo Reyna).|
While Otis ran amok on the defending CIF Southern Section Northern Division champions, it was a night of emotions for him and the Scorps.
“We were very close to Mo. I’ve known him for six years,” Otis said. “When I first came out here, I had tears fall down. But then I asked myself ‘What would Mo do?’ He was always a fighter and warrior. We came out here and did it for him.”
Offensive tackle Sean Chisholm helped pave the running lanes for Otis, as the 6-foot-5, 280-pound skyscraper used his palms and upper body strength to pulverize the Bearcat three-man defensive line.
Chisholm added that the non-league game took on a new meaning in the aftermath of a local tragedy.
“It’s not so much about the win. We had a huge loss last week and we wanted to come out for him. We played for him and played hard for him,” Chisholm said.
The game had the makings of a close battle, as both Camarillo and Paso scored on its opening possession.
Scorpion quarterback Jake Constantine found Colby Stevens sandwiched between two defenders in the back of the end zone, but Stevens maintained his concentration and footing for the 20-yard touchdown, starting the Scorpions off with a 6-0 lead.
Paso would counter with a 33-yard rumble from big 220-pound back Christian Erickson, placing the Bearcats at the 12. Quarterback Justin Davis then powered his way to the end zone on a quarterback sneak which put Paso ahead 7-6.
But that would be the last time Paso led in the game. Paso gambled on a fourth and four inside the CHS 5-yard line but was stuffed short. Constantine would then lead a second quarter drive that ended with a 2-yard touchdown lob to Frankie Tostado, placing the Scorpions ahead 13-7.
Then, safety Collin Kirksey had a momentum shifting hit on the next defensive possession. Kirksey shot through an open gap on Paso’s left side, got squared up with Erickson, and the smaller Kirksey drilled Erickson – by himself – for a five yard loss.
Camarillo (2-0) will travel to Arroyo Grande to take on the Eagles on Sept. 11. The Bearcats (0-2) return home to face Cabrillo on the 11th.