Cabrillo Football

Football: Cabrillo Rebounds With Big Win Over Verbum Dei

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

Cabrillo pulled a 180 in a week as they defeated visiting Verbum Dei 49-0 on Friday just seven days after dropping their home opener and losing their starting quarterback to injury.

“It was a redemption game,” Cabrillo coach Shane Gonzales said. “I am so proud of them because they did everything we told them to correct this week, and it resulted in a total team win for us.”

The Jaguars (2-1) started the party on the Westside early as sophomore D’Jon Pittman returned the opening kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown.

The party wasn’t over, as sophomore linebacker Dylan Edwards recovered a fumble on the ensuing drive. With some hard running by junior Antonio Elam, Cabrillo would be set up at Verbum Dei’s 6-yard line. Pittman punched it in with a jet sweep for his second score of the night, giving Cabrillo a 14-0 lead.

With the help of an out-of-bounds kick, penalties and hard running Verbum Dei drove back down the field. However, Cabrillo senior Khaliel Williams created a key deflection in the corner, forcing Verbum Dei to attempt a field goal. 

Cabrillo junior defensive lineman Pedro Diaz blocked the kick, and Williams returned it 80 yards for a scoop-and-score. The Jaguars continued surging and led 21-0 at the end of the first quarter. 

It would not take long until the Jaguars found the end zone again. With more hard, pad-knocking aggression, Elam bodied his way 39-yards to paydirt with 10:33 left in the half, to give Cabrillo the 28-0 lead.

An interception by junior Isaiah Miranda would give the ball back to the Jags in the red zone. Numerous helmets were falling off players helmets throughout the game, including starting quarterback Fernardo Leanos, forcing players to sit out one play. With no “true” quarterback, Edwards steps in, sneaking the ball in from the one yard line. Cabrilllo entered the locker room with a 35-0 lead.


Verbum Dei started the second half with the ball, yet all the momentum was on Cabrillo’s side. Edwards recovered another fumble, and the Jags were again in the red zone. Leanos would find Pittman on the side, and Pittman shimmied his way 18 yards for his third and final touchdown of the night. Cabrillo was up 42-0 with 9:34 left in the game. 

The night’s scoring would be capped off by a full back dive to junior Amir Stevenson, electrifying the entire Jaguar bench. Cabrillo led 49-0 with 3:45 left in the game, and Verbum Dei took a knee in the remaining minute. 

In an emotional speech after the game, senior quarterback Luis Haro, who suffered a knee injury last week, announced to the team that he will not be able to return.

“I want you to keep battling, and support Fernando [Leanos] in leading this team,” said Haro. “I love you guys, and I wish I could be playing out there with you.”

Next week, Cabrillo travels to face Los Amigos in Fountain Valley.

“We can’t get too ahead of ourselves,” Gonzales said. “There was a lot of good tonight, yet there are still some things to fix.”

PHOTOS: Cabrillo vs. Verbum Dei, Football
Sean Kenneally
Born and raised in Los Alamitos, Sean Kenneally started covering football his senior year at Los Alamitos High School in 2018. Sean is a recent Sonoma State University graduate, where he continued to cover sports during his academic career. Outside of the classroom, Sean was a four year member of the Sonoma State Men’s Lacrosse team, and he participated in the Surfrider Foundation.