Sometimes, the best halftime adjustment is just to remind the players what they should be doing in the first place.
After giving up 252 yards in the first half, the Arroyo Grande Eagles re-committed to their defensive game plan and held Rio Mesa to just 55 yards in the second half to defeat the Pacific View League’s top seed 27-20 in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Western Division football playoffs Friday.
Arroyo Grande (9-2) and Rio Mesa (6-5) traded scores for the entire first half and entered halftime tied at 20.
After the break, the game switched from a track meet to a defensive slugfest.
Christian Crichton scored his third 1-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter to put the Eagles up 27-20 for the only scoring in the second half.
The Eagles defense took over from there.
Crichton ran for 127 yards and three touchdowns, and quarterback Brent Vanderveen hooked up with Garrett Owens for a 30-yard touchdown pass for Arroyo Grande’s other touchdown.
The Eagles will play at home next week against Dominguez (9-0, 5-1), the San Gabriel Valley league champion and the 37th-ranked team in the state according to Maxpreps.com.
Templeton 43, Bishop Montgomery 33
Down 14-0 on the road at Del Rey top seed Bishop Montgomery (8-3), Templeton (7-4) took a step back and realized that the CIF-Southern Section Northwest Division game was far from over.
“We said, just keep playing, keep playing, and good things will happen,” Eagles coach Dave Harper said.
Sure enough, on the Eagles’ next drive, quarterback Simon Roth scored on a 1-yard plunge to break the ice.
Then, after a defensive stop, Tyler Gray scored his first touchdown of the game.
After a botched snap turned into a two-point conversation, Templeton took the lead at 15-14 and the game began anew.
The two teams traded scores until Gray took over in the fourth quarter.
Gray scored three touchdowns in the fourth quarter that saw the Eagles outscore Bishop Montgomery 21-7.
The senior running back finished with 253 rushing yards and five touchdowns on just 23 carries.
“Tyler (Gray) was just amazing and it shows in the stats,” Harper said.
The Eagles advance to play the winner of Oak Park (Tri-Valley No. 2) and Centennial (Pioneer No. 3) next week.
Templeton will be home regardless of who it plays.
Cal Lutheran-Wildomar 76, North County Christian 6
With the game called at halftime, the C-Hawks showed North County Christian (9-2) why they are ranked fifth in California and 82nd nationally according to Maxpreps.com among 8-man teams.
At the half, the North County Christian coaches were given the option to end the game. Erring on the side of caution to keep their players healthy for upcoming winter sports, they decided to end it.
The game opened up with a 66-yard kickoff return by Cal Lutheran quarterback Matt Correia for a touchdown. Damun Thomas converted the ensuing two-point conversion. This was only the beginning for Thomas and Correia.
Thomas then proceeded to score six touchdowns in the first quarter. He scorched the Crusader defense for 163 yards on 10 carries.
After giving up 48 unanswered points, North County Christian scored on a 5-yard touchdown run by Tyler Roth, who finished with 75 yards on 11 carries.