Rushing for five touchdowns in the first half, running back Shane Simonin carried the Templeton Eagles to a 71-27 victory over the Cabrillo Conquistadores at Huyck Stadium on Friday night.
“The kids came out hot tonight and kept it rolling all night,” said Templeton head coach Tyler Lane. “If Simonin gets down by the end zone, he can sniff it, he’s going to score.”
Cabrillo (0-4) started slow on its first possession. Unable to get a first down, the Conquistadores lined up for a punt and had a bad snap sail over Ben Dixon’s head to give the Eagles (2-2) the ball on Cabrillo’s 16-yard line.
After a 5-yard Cabrillo penalty, Simonin found the end zone on Templeton’s first play from scrimmage on an 11-yard carry. Eagles quarterback Morgan Scovell was unable to convert the 2-point conversion, Templeton led 6-0 with 10:54 left in the first.
“He’s one of our tough cowboy kids, so if he gets near the end zone he’s going to fight his way in there,” Lane said about Simonin.
The Conquistadores struggled early on offense and were forced to punt on their second possession. Getting the ball back, the Eagles running game moved down field and less than two minutes later Simonin scored again, crossing the goal line on a 10-yard run. Scovell converted his second 2-point conversion attempt to put the Eagles up 14-0.
Looking to get back into the contest, Cabrillo didn’t take any time to respond to the Eagles’ second score. JD Czajkowski returned the following kickoff 90 yards for the strike. Closing the gap in Templeton’s lead, Cabrillo quarterback Jackson Anderson found a wide-open Joey Brown for the 2-point conversion.
Lane said that Czajkowski’s return put the Eagles on edge but the nerves didn’t last long for the Eagles as they regained the momentum.
For his third score, Simonin scored from three yards out to put the Eagles up 21-8.
As time was winding down in the first, the Conquistadores found momentum. Driving 86 yards, Anderson scrambled on a quarterback keeper for a 43-yard touchdown run at the buzzer. Cabrillo trailed 21-15 at the end of the opening quarter.
The Conquistadores were unable to stop the Eagles running game in the second. Templeton’s next two scores came in the hands of Simonin, scoring from six yards out at 9:24 in the second and from nine yards with 2:26 left. Scovell converted his second 2-point conversion on Simonin’s final touchdown.
“We got guys in position to make plays and we are choosing not to finish our tackles,” said Cabrillo head coach AJ Pateras.
Not seeing action in the second half, Simonin finished with 116 rushing yards on 15 carries. The Eagles closed out the first half with a 5-yard run from Isaiah Harrold, taking a 43-15 lead into the break.
Templeton continued to build on its lead when the third quarter began. Scovell connected with Jesse Mclain for a 40-yard touchdown reception. Scovell added to his touchdown pass with two scores on the ground, scoring on 31-yard and 58-yard runs.
Scovell was a double threat for the Eagles, finishing with 150 yards passing on 10 completions and 198 yards on 12 carries on the ground.
With a minute left in the third, Ryan McTeer scored another Templeton touchdown on a 16-yard carry. On defense, the Eagles’ Tyler Ceja intercepted Anderson’s pass intended for Czajkowaski as the third quarter ended.
Anderson had both of Cabrillo’s scores in the third and fourth quarters. He scored on a 1-yard carry in third and a 7-yard carry in the fourth. Anderson finished with 222 yards passing on 19 completions, throwing 1 interception, and 136 yards on the ground on 23 touches.
“Anderson has been growing and learning every day,” Pateras said. “It’s his first varsity year, so a lot of what we are asking him to do is different. New system, new offense but Anderson is a dynamic kid.”
The Eagles rushed for a combined 492 yards and 642 total offensive yards. The Conquistadores finished 394 total offensive yards.
The Eagles host the Santa Ynez Pirates next Friday while the Conquistadores head to Nipomo to face the Titans.