Fallbrook Warriors 48, Hoover Cardinals 0
In a battle of two winless teams, the Fallbrook Warriors bested the visiting Hoover Cardinals 48-0.
The scoring started quick for Fallbrook with two touchdowns from within Hoover’s 10 yard-line within the first 12 minutes. Hoover could not get started offensively, collecting multiple three-and-outs. It wasn’t until the second quarter, however, in which Fallbrook started to convert their touches into touchdowns.
Kobie Stallings’ 54-yard punt return set up a 10-yard Eric McCarter touchdown catch.
On the ensuing drive, Hoover QB Jack Fanning’s pass was intercepted by Stallings, who then took it back 12 yards for another touchdown. Back-to-back missed Fallbrook field goals gave Hoover’s offense hope. Unfortunately, Fanning threw yet another interception, which was taken by Charlie Bickel and nearly returned for a touchdown had a pesky holding call brought it back.
On that same series, Fallbrook QB Jack Grantham found Stallings in the endzone for a 25-yard touchdown catch to make it 35-0, Fallbrook. Bickel would add another interception return in the half as Fallbrook dominated.
The second half was characterized by Fallbrook’s control of possession.
The Warriors tacked on another touchdown thanks to Julian Arteaga’s 20-yard touchdown catch. The point after was missed, but Fallbrook’s backup QB Mario Alcantar called his own number late in the game for a six-yard rushing touchdown to put Fallbrook up 48-0 permanently.
At game’s end, Fanning threw four interceptions and completed less than 50 percent of his passes.
The Cards, albeit now 0-6, showcased their athletic abilities on numerous occasions.
Vivaldo Castillo was the team’s MVP, playing well in all three phases of the game.
Next week, the Cardinals head into Coronado to play the Islanders, while the Warriors host the Escondido Cougars.
While many teams in the county are off this week to regroup their efforts, the Fallbrook Warriors (0-5) and the Hoover Cardinals (0-4) hope to use this week to come out with their first win of the season.
While, no doubt, both teams have struggled this season, the fact is, one of them will walk off the field on Friday night with their first win of the season.
Traveling to North County for the first and only time this season, Coach Morgans’ Cardinals will need to change up their game plan if they plan on leaving Fallbrook with a victory. In four games this season, Hoover has allowed an average of 51 points, and has yet to score themselves.
The Cardinals lost one key element in running quarterback Demontauz Gray, who transferred to Junction City High School in Arkansas this past offseason. While Gray was their biggest offensive weapon on the field, the Cardinals have other elements on their team that can help them be successful.
The Cardinals only have eight players that stand over six-foot-tall and 11 that weigh over 200 pounds. Without a very powerful offensive line, Hoover must rely on skill to win, specifically on defense. Hoover’s defense has most of their talent in the secondary with safety Vivaldo Castillo limiting long balls deep down the field.
Jack Fanning takes a majority of passing-down snaps under center. He has a live arm and throws with a lot of power. The most efficient part of their offense is in their route-running receivers. All of their receivers have the ability to get gain some separation from defenders.
The amount of ball carriers on Hoover’s roster makes for a defensive coordinator’s nightmare. Their offense primarily runs out of the gun. Against the 4-2-5 defensive scheme of Fallbrook, a run-oriented offense could figure to gain yardage.
On the other side will be the Fallbrook Warriors. The Warriors have talent on both sides of the ball. Similar to Hoover, however, Fallbrook has had trouble finishing drives and getting into the endzone.
Offensively, the Warriors have weapons at all skill positions. Under center is senior Jack Grantham who is primarily a pocket passer, but has enough legs to escape pressure. Helping him out will be a collection of receivers from tight end, John Brodak to the sure-handed Kobie Stallings. Stallings provides Grantham with silky mitts and a quick first step.
In the backfield the Warriors possess running backs, like stud Nashan Hagan, and sophomore Eric McCarter. Overall, Hagan is the most complete back with a vast array of juke moves and speed in the open field to rack up big yards.
Fallbrook’s defense allows them to keep the game relatively close. Hoover uses the option run to score their points, something that does not necessarily work against a lighter 4-2-5 package. Brodak, a fierce pass rusher and run stopper, will be a key player for Fallbrook. He can consistently get pressure on the quarterback during passing situations and stop the run effectively when called upon.
Overall, both of these teams sport talent at certain positions. Ultimately though, Fallbrook’s consistency on defense and running ability on offense give them the slight edge.
My pick: Fallbrook gets their first win of the season.