After drastically different starts to the season, the San Lorenzo Valley High School Cougars and the Scotts Valley High School Falcons find themselves tied in the Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League heading into their annual game at 2 p.m. this Saturday, Oct. 15 at SLV.
The Falcons are 1-1 in the SCCAL and 4-2 overall, and the Cougars are 1-1 and 3-3 overall to start the season.
Falcon senior Collin Corbella leads a five-headed offensive dragon for Scotts Valley that includes running backs Corbella, Victor Pasanisi, and Ari Wargon, quarterback Jack Pasquini, and sophomore receiver Joe Gillette who has 309 yards receiving and five touchdowns. Corbella has 890 yards and five touchdowns through 6 games.
Following last years “Mud Bowl” at Scotts Valley where SLV won 23-7, the Falcons are chomping at the bit to get some payback.
“We are definitely the underdogs in this one,” said SLV Head Coach Doug Morris. “This group of seniors only beat Scotts Valley for the first time last year. They never won at the lower levels.”
SLV has won seven of the teams’ 11 meetings since Scotts Valley’s inception in 2001.
SLV got off to a dismally slow start, going 0-3, but garnering a win when Piedmont, their second opponent, was forced to forfeit due to suiting up an ineligible player.
The Cougars didn’t get their first true win until week four when they topped Watsonville 41-21. Quarterback Tyler Gilbert had taken some lumps and fell ill during the pre-season but since his return he has thrown for five touchdowns and ran for another in the last three games.
Senior running back “Super Duper” Jonny Cooper has amassed a team leading 674 yards and six touchdowns for the Cougars While Lucas Sinnott and Sid Chi lead the Cougar receivers with 433 combined yards in the air with two touchdowns each.
Cooper finds his stride, lifts SLV past St Francis
In last week’s action, SLV running back Jonny Cooper hit pay dirt three times as the Cougars trounced the Saint Francis Sharks (0-2, 2-4 overall) at Cabrillo College 34-6. The win sets up a battle for third place in the SCCAL this weekend against cross-town rival Scotts Valley.
While the SLV run game had been slowed lately, the Cougars found the end zone early and often which allowed the SLV running backs the breathing room they needed to put some yards under their belt.
“They were a very athletic team,” Morris said. “They were just small and I think we wore them down.”
Cooper started the scoring in the first quarter on a 10-yard off-tackle plunge he took for a touchdown. Quarterback Tyler Gilbert hit Nick Callabray for a 22-yard strike on the following Cougar possession to put SLV on top 13-0. Cooper capped off his 117-yard first half with a 17-yard touchdown run and following a Ben Knudson extra point, the Cougars found themselves with a comfortable 20-0 halftime lead.
“That was huge for us,” said Morris. “We haven’t been a first half team this year but we came together and started strong.
Cooper struck again in the third quarter with a 37 yard touchdown run and teammate Derek Poetzinger put the final nail in the coffin for the Sharks with a 1-yard strike that put the Cougars on top 34-0. The game was not without its losses for the Cougars in the fourth quarter SLV lost starting wide receiver and defensive back Ricky Alves for the season to a broken leg.
Saint Francis’ Nate Ceballos put the only points on the board for the Sharks in the fourth quarter with a 5-yard touchdown run but it was too little too late as SLV had the game wrapped up neatly.
Aptos hands Falcons first league loss
Though the Scotts Valley Falcons football team is having no trouble putting points on the board, the Falcon defense has struggled to stop other teams from doing the same. SCCAL leading Aptos High (2-0 SCCAL, 5-1 overall) exploited the Falcons defense for 35 points at Scotts Valley High on Oct. 8, as the Falcons fell 35-21 in their second league game.
Though the Falcons have earned a 4-2 overall record this season they have allowed 152 points while scoring 123. Albeit their victories have been close and their losses more drastic, the Falcons have found a way to top four of their first six opponents.
Aptos, on the other hand, hit Scotts Valley from all angles. Mariner quarterback Riggs Powell ran for 164 yards and a touchdown including an 86-yard third quarter touchdown scamper and threw for another 59 yards. The Mariner defense ripped away three big turnovers at critical moments for the Falcons as they grabbed two drive-negating fumbles and intercepted one Jack Pasquini pass.
Senior, Falcon receiver Kevin Bargetto had a career day taking nine receptions for 148 yards and two touchdowns. Collin Corbella added another 149 yards on the ground for Scotts Valley and Victor Pasanisi punched in a 38 yard scoring run to tie the game 7-7 early in the first quarter.