Fallbrook Warriors 47, Serra Conquistadors 0
Fallbrook coach Kyle Williams said earlier this week that he didn’t expect his team to blow out the visiting Serra Conquistadors as did the Lincoln Hornets a week earlier. In the best of ways for Fallbrook’s sake, he was mistaken, as the Warriors (1-1) defeated the Conquistadors (0-2) by a score of 47-0 Friday night.
Williams gave credit to the size and physical abilities of Lincoln — qualities he said his own team was less known for — for Serra’s first big loss in Week 1, when the 60-0 score was reminiscent of Serra’s track record for losing big in 2014. Perhaps he was being modest, but the Warriors showed on Friday that they, too, might have a little of 2014 left in them despite losing a handful of seniors in the offsets and having a relatively inexperienced group this season.
Indeed, Friday’s score looked a lot like the Week 2 score a year ago between the two teams; Fallbrook won their 2014 meeting by a score of 55-0.
Bryce Olivo emerged as a quality running back for the Warriors last season, and as a returner, he showed his worth Friday, as did fellow veteran Warrior James Nicholas. Both hit the ground hard, as Williams said he planned to have his team do.
"I don’t want to throw the ball in the first half if I don’t have to," Williams said earlier in the week.
Well, he didn’t have to. Instead of placing pressure on his new quarterback, junior Jack Grantham, Williams was able to dominate with his backfield. Olivo scored twice in the third on 15- and 3-yard runs, but by then, the Warriors had all but had the game wrapped up. Nicholas’ 8-yard touchdown before the half gave the Warriors a 21-0 advantage.
Seniors Parker Martin and Taylor Padilla gave the Warriors their first 14 on two earlier of 4 yards and 7 yards, respectively.
Fallbrook’s defense held Serra in check just as Williams had planned, playing the stingy spoiler against a Serra team that was expected to have more success in its air attack, which was virtually absent Friday. On special teams, the Warriors applied pressure early, with a punt block from Isaac Maxwell that allowed for a recovery by junior Charlie Bickel and, a couple plays later, Martin’s touchdown.
Now even at .500, the Warriors will continue non-league play next Friday against the La Jolla Vikings (1-1] in another home game. The Conquistadors will face the Scripps Ranch Falcons (1-0) at Scripps Ranch High School.
For a second straight season, the Serra Conquistadors (0-1) and Fallbrook Warriors (0-1) will meet in the second game of regular season play. When the teams last met nearly a year ago to the day, Fallbrook secured — in no small fashion — the first win of what would become a comeback season for the northernmost team in San Diego County.
Fallbrook won that game by a score of 55-0, marking the first of three games in 2014 in which the Warriors would put up at least 55 points. Serra, on the other hand, lost in 2014 three games in which its opponent scored at least 50 points. Both teams lost their opening games this season.
The Conquistadors, who finished 2014 by missing the playoffs with a 2-8 record — as compared to the Warriors’ 7-4 finish with their first league title in a decade — showed things might not have changed much in the last year, as they lost their matchup last week against the Lincoln Hornets by a score of 60-0. To the Hornets’ credit, they did go two games deep in the playoffs last season and finished six spots ahead of Serra in the San Diego Section Division 2 rankings.
The Warriors will look to get an edge this week by controlling the Conquistadors’ passing game, Williams added. That would mean a lot may have to come from a secondary whose only returning starter from last season is senior James Nicholas. Senior Taylor Padilla and junior Charlie Bickel will have to step up as the team’s first-year safeties. The Warriors’ 28-7 loss last week against a Division 1 Westview Wolverines team might not have been the way Fallbrook had envisioned starting its 2015 campaign, but the team avoided a shutout and kept its points allowed to fewer than 30.
Williams said one problem realized from a week ago has been resolved. “I’ve relinquished the play-calling duties,” Williams said, noting that he was calling both offensive and defensive plays in Week 1, and that it “really slowed us down.”
Friday night’s game between the Conquistadors and Warriors is set to start at 7 p.m. in Fallbrook.