I know it probably seems crazy to everyone but it’s only Aug. 30 and high school football season has already begun. First off, they actually call it week one in the Central Section and not week zero. That whole week zero thing never made much sense to me anyway, I don’t know about you, but I was taught that anything put next to zero equals zero, so week zero means nothing.
Week zero sounds like a great week for scrimmages that have zero impact on the season and not the first week of football, but I digress, week one is in the books and all three of the North County teams played but only one heads into week two with a victory under their belt, the Templeton Eagles.
The Eagles were the only team punching down in terms of rankings by taking on a Division 5 team in Caruthers. They beat them soundly and showed off their new defense that very nearly pitched a shutout 32-6.
The Atascadero Greyhounds had a big match-up with another Division 2 opponent in Fresno-Sunnyside. The Hounds and Wildcats entered the game as the bottom two ranked teams in the division battling it out for some confidence to start the year but Atascadero couldn’t make enough plays in the second half and came up short losing, 30-7.
The Bearcats had the toughest test of all three teams taking on Bakersfield-Liberty who entered the game as the No. 3 team in Division 1 of the Central Section and were CIF runner-ups just a year ago. The Bearcats’ score is deceiving as they played much better than the 24-point deficit indicated and would have been in the game if they could have stopped beating themselves in terms of penalty-killing drives. The Bearcats fell 24-0.
This week the Templeton Eagles will have the rare week 2 bye before they host their home opener against Carmel on Sept. 6.
This week the Atascadero Greyhounds welcome the Buena Bulldogs into Memorial Stadium for their home opener and look for their first win in their last 13 tries. The Bulldogs play in Divison 8 of the Southern Section and once knocked the Hounds out of the playoffs in 2009 but both programs have since experienced a decline since then and look to return to form.
Buena finished last season at 3-7 overall and in a three-way tie for third place in the Pacific View League.
Offensively it was a tough first night for new Greyhounds play-caller Dan Loney as the Hounds’ only score came on a 90-yard catch and run from quarterback Wesley Cooper to wide receiver Wyatt Hasch with one minute left to go in the quarter. Other than that one play the Hounds had difficulty picking up first downs and keeping their defense off the field.
Sunnyside didn’t get on the field until the second quarter when they scored and went for two, converting on a play-action pass. The Wildcats were aided by the Hounds’ offense which could not move the ball out of their own end and punted to the 50-yard line, a problem that would continue in the second half.
The Atascadero defense opened the second half with a fantastic goal-line stand but after a quick offensive possession, the Wildcats took over at the Hounds 38-yard line and scored again.
While the Atascadero offense struggled the Eagles offense excelled and picked up right where it left off a year ago. Interestingly enough, it sounds like Templeton might have two completely different offenses that are stylistically opposed to one another depending on who is playing quarterback, but they both worked.
Templeton started the game with the junior speedster (over 1,000 all-purpose yards a year ago) Tyler Kaschewski behind center and ran all over the Caruthers defense finishing with 11 carries for 73 yards and two touchdowns.
Senior quarterback Zack Logan started the second quarter and marched the Eagles the length of the field just as efficiently, except through the air, finishing 11-of-13 for 134 yards and two touchdowns. Logan fed the Eagles no. 1 receiver Marino D’Alfonso who finished with a monster game to start the year — six catches for 106 yards and two touchdowns and also recorded an interception. Kashchewski recorded three catches for 14 yards.
While all that production is almost dizzying from the Eagles it was their defense that had me the most impressed. I have stated multiple times that I think bringing in Don Crow was the best thing that Templeton could have done for that team and the defense that allowed over 40 points last year gave up fewer than a touchdown on opening night. Not only did the Eagles defense keep Caruthers from scoring they also forced turnovers, four to be exact as the secondary hauled in three interceptions while Chase Richards forced and recovered a fumble.