The Atascadero High School defense dominated in the third quarter Friday night in a 36-24 win over Foothill to open the 2016 season.
Atascadero (1-0) turned three fumble recoveries on three-consecutive possessions in the third into touchdowns — highlighted by a 90-yard return for a touchdown by senior Brian Vazquez — stretching a 15-10 halftime advantage into a 36-10 lead.
Delkener Runs Wild
Senior Tysen Delkener impressed in his first game as the featured running back in the Greyhounds new-look offense. He rushed for 92 yards on nine carries and a touchdown, including a 61-yard run to opening the scoring. Delkener also had three receptions for 40 yards and a touchdown as a receiver. Fellow back Kobe Cross had a nice game as well, with six carries for 84 yards.
Rinkenberger On Point
Senior quarterback Carson Rinkenberger didn’t get off to a fast start, but he helped convert two of the Foothill turnovers in the third quarter into touchdowns — first on a 30-yard touchdown to Lucas Sprouse to make it 22-10 and again for 30 yards to Delkener to make it 36-10 and put the game away.
Rinkenberger finished the game 9 for 13 for 151 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.
His 36-yard strike to Elijah Cooks with 10 seconds left in the first half was a thing of beauty.
Atascadero head coach Vic Cooper said he was prepared for the aggressive play calling of Foothill, but he was surely in the minority.
Foothill went for it three times on fourth down in the first half, including on a horribly executed fake punt on fourth-and-10. The next play, Delkener took it 61 yards for the score. Then Foothill successfully converted an onside kick before going for it again on fourth down, only to be stopped.
With 41 seconds left and the ball on its own 10-yard line, Foothill’s quarterback was intercepted by Riley Mete on a deep pass attempt. Just 30 seconds later, Cooks scored, and the Greyhounds carried that momentum into their huge third quarter.
Atascadero will be on the road against Ventura next Friday.