Talented Half Moon Bay overwhelms Falcons in opener

September 1, 2017 — by Siva Sambasivam and Alex Wang

 

After qualifying for CCS last season, the Falcons were routed 63-7 in their 2017 home opener against two-time defending CCS champion Half Moon Bay Cougars on Aug. 25.

Coming into the game, the Falcons had high expectations following a 5-5 record last season. Many current seniors were coming off strong seasons on varsity last year, including senior wide receiver Harrison Fong (847 yards on 65 receptions), senior two-way lineman lineman Allie Liddle (3.8 tackles per game, and 7 sacks), and senior running back Robert Scott (506 total yards, 46 yards per game). Liddle was sidelined due to a shoulder injury, and is looking to re-enter the action Sept. 15 against Leigh.

The Cougars held a 35-0 lead at halftime; the Falcons only scored on their final drive.

“Half Moon Bay is a really good team,” Scott said. “They were kind of like us in that they did not have many players or especially big players, but they played with confidence and like a championship team.”

The Cougars dominated with their run game, scoring seven rushing touchdowns and one touchdown through the air, and gaining 208 yards on the ground and 368 in total. By comparison, the Falcons struggled to get their offense going, gaining only 126 total yards and running for 28 yards.

According to Scott, the team’s offensive passing schemes were working in the game, but quarterback Rositano did not have enough time to throw the ball.

“Niko would come off the field after every turnover and say that there are receivers open, but he couldn’t get the ball to them,” Scott said.

Stopping the Cougars’ run game also proved difficult. The Cougars repeatedly ran run plays, and the Falcons had a hard time stopping each of them. This lead to seven rushing touchdowns by the Cougars, including two by their quarterback.

Though Half Moon Bay only slightly changed its offensive schemes, they “wreaked havoc on our defense because we could not carry out our jobs,” Scott said.

Senior tight end Tyler Torrens also experienced severe concussion symptoms at halftime during the game. He had suffered a concussion during practice, but he did not think it was serious and  did not report his condition to the coaches.

His headaches are subsiding, and the doctor put the timetable for his return at two weeks if he recovers at the same pace. Although his exit did not have a huge bearing on the game, since the Falcons had a 35-point deficit at the time, Torrens still plays an integral role in the Falcons lineup as the starting tight end and defensive end.

The Falcon offense showed signs of life on the final drive: Junior wide receiver Charles Debling converted a scoring opportunity on a pass from Rositano. Although this did little to change the outcome, the Falcons were finally able to regroup and break the Cougars defensive sets.

The Falcons play against Silver Creek at home on Sept. 1.