The Cougars travel to play the Farmers, who have not played an official game this season.
In 2008, SLV eked out a 12-8 come-from-behind victory over Hayward behind a stout defensive effort. The Cougars’ conditioning was part of the winning formula, head coach Doug Morris said after last year’s contest, as they held Hayward scoreless for 46 minutes after a first-quarter touchdown.
The Cougars are coming off a victory over Alisal that was even more dominant than the score indicated.
SLV jumped out to a 34-0 lead with four minutes left in the third quarter on touchdown runs of 1, 2 and 43 yards by Kyle Todd, a 9-yard touchdown by senior quarterback Trevor Romele and a 4-yard touchdown reception by junior wideout Luke Roberts on a pass from Romele.
“I thought, psychologically, we were really ready,” Morris said. “Last year, we weren’t really prepared and Alisal beat us. I think this year’s seniors learned that lesson.”
Also, junior Nathan Wood had an interception, and junior Logan Kellogg recovered a fumble.
The opposing coach even saw the fire in the Cougars’ eyes.
“All the credit in the world to their coaching staff,” Alisal head coach Sunil Smith said. “Those guys came out ready to play. In the first half, they kicked our butts all over the field.”
Every Cougars player saw the field in the second half, and the reserves played the final 18 minutes. During that time, Alisal scored a two-point safety on a fumbled long snap on a Cougars punt and two late touchdowns, each accompanied by a two-point conversion.
However, Morris said the team’s inexperienced offensive line played well against Alisal in its first game of the season.
“I felt good about our execution,” Morris said. “There were not a lot of procedure penalties, and we ran the ball well.”
One penalty did cost the Cougars, however. On a first down from the Cougars’ 3-yard line, Romele found wide receiver Patrick Salibi on a crossing route and Salibi sprinted the length of the field for a 97-yard touchdown. The play was called back, however, when officials called the Cougars for having an ineligible receiver downfield, eliciting a groan from the Cougar fans in attendance.