The Arroyo Grande High football team (2-1) got a wake up call Friday night in the form of visiting Camarillo (3-0).
The Scorpions dropped seven defenders into coverage all night and dared the high-powered offense of Arroyo Grande to beat them deep. The plan worked to perfection, thanks to a Camarillo pass rush that sacked May six times in the second half on the way to a 27-13 win.
After scoring points with ease in the first two games, the Eagles showed their first signs of weakness and possibly gave opposing coaches a blueprint on how to beat them: stop the run. Arroyo Grande had 127 yards rushing on 40 attempts, an average of just over 3 yards per carry. Granted, the Eagles were without their best power runner, fullback Joey DeLaRosa, who sat out with a foot injury.
But Camarillo is probably the best team Arroyo Grande will face this season. The Eagles won’t face another quarterback that can throw like the Scorpions’ Jake Constantine this season, other than two weeks from now when they host quarterback Blake Jaeckels and St. Joseph.
Templeton’s defense is the real deal
Maybe it’s time to start talking more about Templeton. The Eagles moved to 3-0 Friday night with another dominant defensive performance, holding Santa Paula to 13 points at home while exploding for 26 points in the second half on the way to a 33-13 win.
Entering Friday night, the Cardinals had scored 44 and 47 points in their two wins, respectively. Templeton has held its opponents to an average of 14 points per game. That trend could continue next week when the Eagles travel to San Luis Obispo to face a Tigers team that has averaged just 8 points per game.
But it’s not just on defense where Templeton is excelling. Coach Dan Loney has been depending on a balanced offense led by Isaac Lindsey and Mike Capelli at running back and senior Jordan Bernal at quarterback. Capelli ran for just 35 yards on 14 carries Friday, but is still averaging 7 yards per carry on the season. Bernal has three interceptions on 54 passing attempts this season after throwing two interceptions on 113 attempts in 2014. If Bernal can return to form and the defense can remain dominant, the Eagles have a real chance at taking a 6-0 record into league play.
Atascadero finds its quarterback
After a heated battle in the offseason and into its first game, it seems Atascadero finally has its starting quarterback.
Junior Carson Rinkenberger threw three touchdown passes, including the game-winner Friday night, to lead the Greyhounds to a 26-23 road victory over Stockdale. Rinkenberger went wire-to-wire in the game after quarterback hopefuls Elijah Cooks and Jeffery Middleton each saw action in Atascadero’s (2-0) opening win over Morro Bay.
Rinkenberger managed the game perfectly, letting the big backs of Atascadero move the ball while making a few timely throws. He finished the game 8 for 12 for 114 yards and no interceptions.
Atascadero coach Vic Cooper also found a way to keep the physically imposing Cooks on the field as a receiver. Cooks had three catches for 48 yards, including a 34-yard run-and-catch on the game-winning drive. Cooper also said that Cooks, who is a threat as a power rusher, will continue to get looks at quarterback in certain situations.
Paso Robles gets a win
Paso Robles avoided a disastrous start by shutting out Cabrillo 35-0.
Still, the Bearcats are in danger of matching their worst start since 2011 when they lost three of the first four games of the season. The Bearcats (1-2) will next host a red-hot St. Joseph team that has averaged 41 points per game during its 3-0 start.