St. Francis scored on its first play from scrimmage and didn’t look back en route to a 34-13 victory Friday night over Atascadero. The Lancers of Mountain View led 24-0 at halftime and 31-0 early in the third quarter.
The Lancers dominance was perhaps to be expected — they entered Friday’s game ranked 28th in the state and 238th in the country by MaxPreps.com. For reference, Atascadero was ranked 252 in California and 3,465 nationally coming into the game.
Talent on both sides
The Lancers feature two highly regarded seniors on both sides of the ball: running back Cyrus Habibi-Likio and defensive back Bennett Williams. Both made big plays.
Habibi-Likio scored the opening touchdown — a 60-yard run that was highlighted by the 6-foot-1, 210-pound senior running over a defender before continuing another 55 yards to the end zone. The run set the tone for the game. Habibi-Likio has reportedly verbally committed to the University of Washington and has also officially visited Utah.
Williams — who reportedly has interest from California, Hawaii, Sacramento State and Wyoming, among others — returned a Carson Rinkenberger interception 25 yards for a touchdown early in the third quarter.
Battle in the trenches
The St. Francis defensive line was able to pressure Rinkenberger for four sacks and allowed little time in the pocket. They also stalled the usually potent Atascadero running game, where they eventually had the most success in the second half through Kobe Cross. Six other Greyhounds had carries on the night.
Atascadero has a weapon of their own in Elijah Cooks. The second half was all Cooks, despite seeing double coverage for much of it, resulting in both of the Greyhounds touchdowns.
Rinkenberger found him on a fade route on fourth down in double coverage to get Atascadero on the board in the third quarter. Cooks caught three passes for 55 yards to set up the scoring play.
In the fourth, Rinkenberger found Cooks again, this time connecting for a 38-yard score and beating double coverage again.
Rinkenberger was 10 of 17 for 132 yards with a pair of touchdowns and an interception on the night.
Atascadero (1-3) will play at Madera (0-4) next Friday.