The Arroyo Grande offensive and defensive lines dominated Friday in a 41-7 win against St. Joseph, making the battle of two of the Central Coast’s top quarterbacks – Sawyer May and Blake Jaeckels -- an imbalanced one.
The Eagles ran wild, tallying 292 rushing yards, while their standout quarterback Sawyer May mixed in some deep balls, connected twice on deep balls to wideout Jeremiah Wright, include a 35-yard first half touchdown strike, to stun the Knights. May threw for 151 yards and two TDs.
Arroyo Grande defensive back Ben Willkomm was a pest to St. Joseph receivers, along with secondary mate Landon Carter, who had a bone-crushing hit on Knights’ running back Nate Guzman, as he juggled a pass in the fourth quarter.
The Eagles contained the Knights’ ground attack, hold them to 55 first-half rushing yards.
BOUNCE BACK PLAYER: De La Rosa came back from missing last week’s game against Camarillo with a turf toe injury and immediately made his mark, punching in a one-yard run for a touchdown at 7:10 in the first quarter to give Arroyo Grande the early lead. De La Rosa was a bulldozer, dragging two and three tacklers with him for extra yardage for two rushing scores and a 14-yard touchdown catch, tallying three total TDs on the night.
AG SETS TONE WITH DOMINANT RUN: The Eagles balanced their attack by sharing the ball among several runners. Alex Cecchi, Bradley Mickey, Matthew Sill and De La Rosa each had double-digit yardage in the first quarter to confuse the Knights’ defense.
SOLID PASS DEFENSE: The Eagles kept the Knights’ dangerous quarterback Blake Jaeckels at bay with solid deep coverage, limiting him mostly to short passes for little yardage in the first half. Jaeckels, a shifty runner with a strong arm, got it going in the second quarter with a 26-yard strike to Mason Biely and tallied 191 passing yards and 56 rushing yards by the game’s end.
FUNKY PLAY OF THE GAME: On a kickoff in the first half, St. Joseph’s players DJ DeRisio and Max Morris collided with DeRisio trying to return the ball. DeRisio got stuffed by his own man, somehow heading toward his own end zone as he gathered his footing, but to his credit stayed on his feet, turned around, and collected a few tough yards to salvage a potentially embarrassing play.
AG WINS CENTRAL COAST POWER BATTLE: In a non-league game, the Eagles and Knights both came in touted as two of the best teams on the Central Coast, but the game proved no contest as Arroyo Grande displayed dominance by flexing its muscles with beefier offensive and defense lines. Insiders say Atascadero may be the only local team to match the Eagles’ size up front.