A heavy dose of Strathmore High School running back Joey Garcia helped the Spartans roll to a 25-20 win and spoil Templeton’s season opener at home Friday night.
Garcia followed up a six-touchdown performance in Strathmore’s first game of the season with a 24-carry, 129-yard and three-touchdown game Friday night. He also finished with 67 passing yards, including a 36-yard touchdown pass out of the wildcat formation that put Strathmore (2-0) ahead 19-13 halfway through the fourth quarter.
Sophomore quarterback Jack Trimble started the game for Templeton (1-0) and led the Eagles on an impressive drive capped with a 9-yard touchdown pass to Peyton Hayley to put them up 7-0.
But on the third offensive series, Templeton’s first year head coach Tyler Lane inserted junior Morgan Scovell, who played the rest of the game and put on quite a show evading Strathmore rushers all night. The highlight came in the third quarter when he took an option read 25 yards and dove for the score, giving the Eagles a brief 13-7 lead.
Scovell finished the game with 119 yards on 15 carries and a touchdown. Through the air, he went 8 of 16 for 73 yards and a touchdown. He would have gone for more if it wasn’t for a number of drops by Eagle receivers, including one on a sure touchdown.
Trimble ended up with 16 yards rushing and 3-of-4 passing for 27 yards and a touchdown.
Lane said the team will continue to mix and match quarterbacks all season.
Fourth quarter miscues
Templeton showed its youth in the fourth quarter on a couple of crucial series.
On its first offensive possession of the fourth with the game tied at 13, Templeton fumbled and Stratmore capitalized with a touchdown. On the next series, Templeton had two fumbles and three penalties — all in a row.
After failing to convert on a third and 38, Templeton punted the ball away. And Strathmore converted on third down thanks to a pass interference call, and Garcia all but ended the game with a 19-yard touchdown run to make it 25-13 with three minutes to play.
Despite the loss, it was a triumphant return for former Templeton football player Isaac Lindsey, who was severely injured last season. Lindsey, wearing a Templeton polo, led the Eagles onto the field carrying an American flag. Lindsey and his brother, Louis, who graduated last season, stood on the sidelines together and cheered as Templeton’s Nate Avery scored a touchdown with 35 seconds left. But a failed onside kick attempt ended the comeback try.