The562’s coverage of Lakewood Athletics is sponsored by J.P. Crawford, Class of 2013.
The562’s coverage of Cabrillo Athletics is sponsored by the Cohn Family.
After a challenging start to this season Lakewood desperately needed a “get-right game” and the Lancers got exactly that with a 56-0 win on Friday night at Cabrillo.
It’s the first win in more than a month for the Lancers (2-4, 1-1) who got a big game from quarterback Brayden Downen. The senior threw four touchdowns to four different receivers and also ran one in on a deft play-fake from 24-yards out.
“It definitely feels good to get a win after starting the season off so slow,” Downen said. “We’re trying to take the momentum from this game and carry it through the rest of the season.”
Downen threw for 202 yards by completing 12 of his 20 passing attempts, and he also rushed for 85 yards on five carries. Lakewood running back Kaleb Foster finished with 105 yards on seven rushes. He capped his night with a 50-yard touchdown early in the running-clock fourth quarter, and fellow running back Zion Smith had touchdown runs of 42 and 6 yards.
“It feels great to get a W and see most of our seniors get on the field and touch the football,” Lakewood coach Justin Utupo said. “We needed to get going offensively. We’ve been challenging our offense all season long to start fast. We fumbled in the red zone on our opening drive, and I’m happy with the way we finished the game.”
Cabrillo defensive back Devin Edwards forced the fumble on the first drive of the game and Tristen Muk recovered it inside the Jaguars 5-yard line. Lakewood’s defense stepped up to force a punt, but the punt was also fumbled by the Lancers and D’Jon Pittman recovered the miscue.
Again the Lancers defense got a stop thanks to aggressive play from their front seven and guys like Noah Mallon, Rahkeen Moore, Rovana Tufugafale and others. Cabrillo was forced to punt again, and this time Anthony Winston Jr. blocked the kick.
On the next play from scrimmage, Downen hit Ellis Gibson on a quick slant for a 21-yard touchdown.
Muk intercepted Downen on the next Lakewood drive, but three straight incompletions for Cabrillo quarterback Luis Haro resulted in a turnover on downs, and Lakewood would score on its next three possessions to take a 28-0 lead into halftime.
Utupo and Downen both said that making the Lakewood offensive playbook more basic has helped the Lancers be more comfortable and successful.
“Our playbook week to week we’re taking pages out and simplifying so that allows them to play fast because they don’t have to think as much and we were able to see that today,” Utupo said.
“It makes things simpler because everyone knows what we’re running so it makes everything easier,” Downen added.
Cabrillo (0-6, 0-2) found some success in their rushing attack as running back Bo Bo Jackson gained 25 yards on his first two carries of the night. He finished with 50 yards on 10 carries. However, a lot of that positive offensive momentum was lost when Haro was tackled behind the line of scrimmage a total of seven times.
“We have to look at the film, and it’s rough after a game like this to say we got better after we took it on the chin,” Cabrillo coach Shane Gonzales said. “But I’m sure we’ll be able to find some bright spots. Overall we are improving and this is just a learning and teaching moment. We’ve got to get back up and keep fighting. In life you get knocked down and you have to get back up.”
Utupo said that with Jordan coming to Lakewood next week his team has to clean up the penalties and mental mistakes in order to start its first winning streak of the season.
“We have to take care of the minor details and we should be in good shape,” Utupo said. “We’ve played a really tough non league schedule and opened league against Poly so they understand that we’ve played really good teams, and there’s some teams in there we can play with… but we have a hungry team coming to our house next week.”
Lakewood’s five opponents before Cabrillo have a combined record of 22-4 this season.