With former Oakland Raider legend and Clovis Cougar icon Daryle Lamonica watching from the sidelines, Clovis advanced to its fifth semifinal appearance in six years, knocking off last year’s Central Section Division I champion Fresno-Edison 28-6 on Friday, Nov. 20, at the house named after the former quarterback.
Josh Hokit ensured that his Cougars wouldn’t disappoint Lamonica or the rest of the blue and yellow faithful who filled the Lamonica Stadium seats. The Drexel University commit scored twice – once on a crucial fumble recovery inside the Edison 5-yard line for the opening touchdown and on a 7-yard scamper for the game’s final points – to propel the Cougars into another home game against rival Clovis North on Black Friday with a trip to the section title game on the line.
The first score proved to be the momentum shifter. The Cougars (10-1) marched all the way to the Edison 1-yard line before the Tigers’ defensive wall prevented Clovis from scoring. However, Tiger running back Jaylen King lost control of the ball and Hokit scooped up the loose pigskin for the 2-yard touchdown.
From there, Clovis took complete control.
Quarterback Sean Kuenzinger connected with University of Idaho commit J.J. Wills on a 23-yard scoring strike to take the 14-0 lead. Nash Vidmar and Hokit added the Cougars’ final touchdowns.
The win was retaliation for last year’s loss to the Tigers at Sunnyside High’s stadium, as the Cougars blew a 14-point lead and lost 21-14 to the eventual section champs.
NO CONSTANTINE FOR CAMARILLO?
Social media has been abuzz since 8 p.m. on Friday night regarding Jake Constantine’s playing status, after the Camarillo quarterback was ejected during the Scorpions’ 38-7 trouncing of Santa Maria-St. Joseph on the road.
Constantine was tossed after arguing with an official. But Camarillo buried any hope of a Knights’ comeback with the return of Isaiah Otis, as the running back wore down St. Joseph with 164 yards on 19 carries and scored touchdown runs of 18 and 49 yards, with the latter breaking the will of the Knights and extending the lead to 28-0 in the third.
The Santa Maria Times reported that Constantine used foul language following two personal foul calls. The CIF rule for ejections state that once a player is tossed from a game, he must sit out the following week.
Thom Simmons, the CIF Southern Section Director of Communications, told The Times that Constantine will only play next week if the official who made the call has a change of heart.
"There is no appeal process for ejections, the only person who can rescind an ejection is the official who ejected the player," Simmons said.
Scorpion head coach Jack Willard told The Times that he’s confident that the officials will have a change of heart.
“If they rethink the whole situation and put it together in terms of where we're at in the season and what was actually said..." Willard told The Times. "Do I think it should be rescinded? Well yeah, I think it should be done and over with and we should have our whole team Friday."
Several people – including Scorpion players - took to Twitter in support of Constantine, using the hash tag #FreeJake.
One supporter of Constantine is Oxnard-Pacifica quarterback Kane Tinajero, who posted: “Hope Jake’s suspension gets reversed. Anyone who knows Jake knows he’s a fierce competitor. Shouldn't be suspended for playing with passion.”
BASKETBALL SCORE ERUPTS IN THE SAN GABRIEL VALLEY
Spectators who flocked to Kiefer Stadium on Friday anticipated a heavyweight battle between undefeated Westlake Village-Oaks Christian and traditional Southern California power La Puente-Bishop Amat.
What they might not have expected, though, was a shootout where defense was non-existent, as both teams combined for a basketball-like 101 points in Amat’s 61-40 win in the PAC-5 playoffs.
Torreahno Sweet shattered a school record with 370 yards rushing, breaking the previous mark of 369 held by Michael Wagner in 1998. Quarterback Damian Garcia combined for four touchdowns, three of them through the air.
Oaks Christian got 437 passing yards from quarterback Matt Corrall, while USC commit Michael Pittman II had an astonishing 18 catches for 386 yards and five scores.
The Lancers will now contend with another unbeaten on Black Friday: Bellflower-St. John Bosco.
BUENA PARK UNLEASHES ITS PACK OF COYOTE DEFENDERS
Buena Park has a lot of youth on defense, with the unit comprising of mostly 2017 players.
But they grew quickly against Newport Beach-Corona Del Mar and rising ’17 quarterback Chase Garbers, sacking him five times and limiting him to a season-low 117 yards in the 35-17 victory.
Cedric Dashiel II and Ryan Nelson were two ’17 guys leading the pass rush, joining seniors Andrew Wright, Elijah Bynum and Alex Rojas in attacking Garbers throughout the night.
Dashiel II described the defensive performance of the Coyotes:
“Fast, physical, intense and we were focused. I believe we are peaking at the right time,” Dashiel II said.
Elijah Gates - another rising junior who recently got offered by Cincinnati - was dominant in one-on-one coverages against the Sea Kings, holding top receiver Peter Bush to just one catch.