City Game of the Week: St. Augustine Saints 28, Steele Canyon Cougars 21

St. Augustine’s 4 TD’s lift Saints over Cougars, 28-21 in a close Division I CIF quarterfinals contest.

SAINTS SCORE THRICE IN FIRST HALF OF THE GAME

And the Saintsmen’s championship tour continues to the Semi’s.

#14 Angelo Peraza is first to put the Saints on the board with a 1 Yd rushing touchdown in the first quarter. A 72-yard pick 6 from #34 Malcolm Williams takes the Saints up 0-14. And just before the half, Peraza connects with #2 Samuel Scaife III for a 33-yard touchdown pass. The Saints extended their lead in the third when Peraza slugged a 16 Yd pass to Scaife putting the Saints up 7-28 after PAT.

Despite their impressive offensive performance, the Saints never got comfortable. The Cougars drove deep into Saints territory twice, but were stopped each time by the impending Saints defense. Peraza’s main weapon of the night was Malcolm Williams. The Sophomore running back shows early signs of future Pigskin Idol as he not only found open spaces but open balls. Three solo tackles and 2 fumble recoveries gives him the title of Jersey Mike’s Player of the Night. Williams states, “All week coach was talking about getting the ball out and that’s just what my goal was. Come in, see the ball, and get the ball.” Saints’ brilliance on both sides of the line kept them ahead all night.

COUGARS CLOSE THE GAP

Steele Canyon’s #17 Nathan Barnett connects with #8 Valon Martinez for the 41-yard TD pass to trail 7-21. In the third quarter with 4 minutes to go, Barnett scores a 2-yard rushing TD, and finally in the fourth Steele Canyon closes the gap when #7 Kenneth Watson rushes into the end zone for the final TD of the night.

Cougars hustled for a comeback in the 4th but couldn’t get in the end zone when the snap to Barnett came too soon and hit receiver #12 Jacob Califano on the hip. The fumble was recovered by none other than Malcolm Williams and the Saints gained possession with four minutes left in the game. Saints hung onto the lead as the clock ran down. The Cougars’ 7-point loss ended their five-game winning streak.

LOOKING AHEAD

While this Steele Canyon loss was their playoff ending, it also feels like a beginning. Cougars’ defense has potential to come back even stronger next year. Some lead defenders to look out for – should they play next year – include Junior cornerback #19 Antoine Walker, Junior back #20 Cameron Ewart, and stellar safety #9 Chance Johnson. Walker finishes the season with 33 total tackles averaging 4.1 per game and 54 interception return yards. Ewert averages 5.7 tackles per game recording 51 total tackles into November. And Johnson leads the team with 54 total tackles averaging 6.8 tackles per game.

Playoff games would not happen without proper health-care personnel. With that, a great big shout out to the training staff on both teams, without whom players would not be as healthy and high performing as they are entering into the November contests. Hat’s off to our sideline heroes.

UP NEXT

St. Augustine Saints (8-3) will host the Mission Hills Grizzlies (5-6) next Friday, same time same place. The winner of this matchup will advance to the Division I CIF Championships on November 24.

As the bracket’s get closer to Championships, so do the weeks counting down to the Silver Pigskin Gala. We at PPR are so excited to host the final episode of our 20th season atop the iconic USS Midway with all the players and families that make our show worth watching.

We hope you tune in on Tuesday, December 4 as we celebrate community and football in America’s Finest City. We’re handing out the first awards to our future hall of famers. You won’t want to miss it, and we want you there.

Follow @KUSIPPR for the very best in San Diego high school sports and remember to follow @RedJacketArmy on Twitter and Instagram to keep up with game highlights, and snapshots under the Friday Night Lights.

PREVIEW

Playoffs is the name, and Week 13 is the game. 

The Steele Canyon Cougars (9-2) will face off against the St. Augustine Saints (7-3) for a quarterfinal’s matchup of the CIF Division I playoffs.

Cougars win five in a row

October’s very own, Steele Canyon, is coming in HOT having won not one, not two, not three, not four, but FIVE games in a row including last week’s 49-17 victory over the El Camino Wildcats. Will this Friday be the end of their winning streak? Or can the Cougars pull off a sixth consecutive win securing them a spot in the semi’s? Momentum is sure to play a role for the Cougars this Friday night.

Senior Quarterback and transfer student from New Jersey, Nate Barnett (#17) threw for 705 yards this season and is averaging 78 passing yards a game. Last week he rushed for 52 yards on the ground, scoring 6 TD’s against the Wildcats. Proof that this QB can extend plays both with his arm and his legs. Not bad for a new kid on the block. Speaking of transfer students making waves, Junior back, Chris Carter (#28) from Virginia has taken his talents to California with an average of 8 rushing yards and 13 carries per game.

Safety comes first. At least when you have Chance Johnson in your backfield. At 6 ft., 180 pounds, Junior Chance Johnson (#9) sets the tone on defense. He’s achieved a season high of 10 tackles in last week’s matchup against El Camino, and 54 tackles overall. Johnson demonstrates two key traits to look for in a safety – quickness and agility. Watch out for jersey #9 as he looks to escort players out of bounds this Friday.

The numbers speak volumes of the Steele Canyon Cougars. Not excluding Coach Scott Longerbone who has played a pivotal role in integrating the team’s new additions. Looking back on the last eleven games, some big wins include Week 4 against the Otay Mustangs (25-7), Week 5 against the Mira Mesa Marauders (52-35), and Week 10 against the Helix Highlanders (22-21). Regardless of the outcome this Friday, the Cougars already boast a succession of winning seasons. This one included.

Saints gain home-field advantage

St. Augustine remains on the short list of consistent playoff contenders. As the old saying goes, “old habits die hard,” and we all know the Saints have a habit of winning football games. After knocking out a Week 11 win against the Morse Tigers, the Saints hold the higher seed, and will join playoffs well-rested after clinching a first-round bye.

“Thou shall not draft a Defense before 11th round.” But if this was fantasy football, I’d certainly consider drafting these guys in an earlier-than-usual pick. A huge tip of the hat to the Saints Defense. They’ve allowed no more than 24 points against the opponent in any of their season matchups, four high scoring shutouts included… FOUR.

Junior QB Angelo Peraza (#14) leads the team with 1,868 passing yards and 109 completions. Sophomore Byron Cardwell (#21) is a prime example of the importance of open field vision in a running back. Cardwell finds his holes and executes with no time for indecision. He’s had 3 games with 119+ yards, and made 158 carries for 879 yards overall. Senior JT Penik (#12) covers the back end with 94 tackles, and 64 solo tackles. He boasts 6.5 sacks this year and his aggressiveness will make it a challenge for the Steele Canyon Cougars to slide their protection to the edges. We’ll be watching, waiting, and anticipating when the Saints come marching in.

Nothing in this world can rival passion and persistence, and that’s exactly what these boys are made of having come this far in their season. Mano a Mano. It looks like we have quite an even matchup in store under our Friday Night Lights. Will we see you there?

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @RedJacketArmy for real-time game updates and snapshots. And remember to tune into KUSI Friday’s at 10:45 pm to catch the 1st and 15, and Prep Pigskin Report.

Categories: Game of the Week – City, This Week’s Games

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