Cabrillo Football

Football: Cabrillo Falls Flat in Home Opener vs. Carpinteria

The562’s coverage of Cabrillo Athletics is sponsored by the Cohn Family.

The Cabrillo football team was rudely introduced to Murphy’s first law on Friday night in their home opener against visiting Carpinteria. Anything that could go wrong for the Jags, did go wrong for the Jags, as they suffered a 26-0 defeat against the visiting Warriors.

Carpinteria opened the game with a 14-play, 93-yard touchdown drive that took nearly nine minutes off the clock, and they never looked back. Cabrillo was never able to get momentum on its side, losing a fumble inside the Warriors 5-yard line on their first possession of the night–one of four Jags turnovers in the loss.

“We shot ourselves in the foot, we just couldn’t get out of our own way to start the game,” said Cabrillo head coach Shane Gonzales. “We came out flat, five penalties on the first drive, but hats off to (Carpinteria), they went right down the field, executed, and took advantage of our mistakes … There were a couple of key points in the game where I felt like we could have still been in it, and then when we lost the fumble going into the endzone, then the safety, the other fumble right after half. It was like the wheels started coming off, it was tough.”

The aforementioned safety was the result of a high snap on a Cabrillo punt attempt, which led to a 9-0 lead for the Warriors at halftime. Even after a rough first half, there was still plenty of football left with Cabrillo getting the ball first after halftime.

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Unfortunately for the home team, they lost a fumble on their second play in the second half, which led to a quick Warriors TD on an end around by Judah Torres. On Cabrillo’s next play from scrimmage, Sebastian Hernandez intercepted the pass over the middle, setting up a field goal for the Warriors who suddenly led 19-0 with just over four minutes left in the third quarter.

Things then went from bad to worse as Jags senior quarterback Luis Haro was knocked out of the game on the ensuing drive, suffering an awkward tackle on a fourth down play. He appeared to suffer a serious knee injury, leaving Cabrillo without their senior leader for the rest of the night. Freshman backup Fernando Leanos filled in for Haro the rest of the way and showed flashes of playmaking ability, but he’s just a ninth grader with a lot still to learn on the field.

There were some bright spots for Cabrillo, with senior running back Antonio Elam racking up 91 yards on 14 carries, but the Jags didn’t have the advantage on the ground they were hoping for. The visitors ran the ball 41 times for 177 yards, controlling the ball and the clock. The Warriors didn’t commit a penalty the entire first, and also didn’t turn the ball over in their season opener.

“We're a team that tries to wear you down,” said Carpinteria head coach Mario Robinson of his team’s gameplan. “We're not fast moving, but we just continue to wear you down and hopefully in that late third and fourth quarter we have the momentum at that time.”

The Warriors had the momentum from start to finish, and despite not putting up gaudy offensive numbers, they took advantage of every Cabrillo miscue in order to secure the shutout win.

Haro was 8/13 for 107 yards before his injury, while also gaining 14 yards on the ground. Junior Marquis Lewis had a nice night at receiver, catching two passes for 43 yards. Sophomore WR D’Jon Pittman had just 3 catches for 31 yards but added a handful of tackles on defense. Pedro Diaz had a good night on defense getting in on a couple of sacks for the Jags.

Cabrillo will look to right the ship this week in practice before hosting Verbum Dei next Friday night.

“We’ve just get back to the basics,” said Gonzales. “We’ve got to be able to run the ball and we’ve got to be able to stop the run. Tonight we couldn't stop the run and we couldn't really run the ball like we thought we would be able to. So we’ve got to get back to that and we’ve got to find a way to get our playmakers the ball in the passing game. Tonight we really struggled with that.”

VIDEO: Cabrillo vs. Carpinteria, Football
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Tyler Hendrickson
Tyler Hendrickson was born and raised in Long Beach, and started covering sports in his hometown in 2010. After five years as a sportswriter, Tyler joined the athletic department at Long Beach State University in 2015. He spent more than four years in the athletic communications department, working primarily with the Dirtbags baseball program. Tyler also co-authored of The History of Long Beach Poly: Scholars & Champions.