Yes, Beaumont may be the new kids on the Citrus Belt League block. Yes, they may be looking for a new identity as a big soccer team on every street. And yes, years from now – when the Cougars are talking about the spring 2021 football season and when they have set up a long-sought rivalry with Yucaipa, this will be the game they are talking about.
Beaumont 37, Yucaipa 24. A score so important to the big picture of the Cougars that Beaumont coach Jeff Steinberg insisted that someone take a picture of the scoreboard after the game.
That photo only tells part of the story. It won’t reveal how Beaumont scored the last 24 points of the game. It won’t reflect the impact David Williams had on the game, scoring three touchdowns and recovering a fumble that led to another Beaumont score.
It won’t reflect the Cougars enforcing four Yucaipa turnovers, sending the Yucaipa crowd into baffled silence in the middle of the fourth quarter. Nor will it reflect the turnaround of Jekyll and Hyde that the Cougars performed after halftime, as they went into the break 17-7 and stayed in neutral.
All too often people think that teams make these crazy adjustments during halftime. It really doesn’t happen much. Adjustments are usually minor, Steinberg said. The big adjustment we had to make in half was an attitude adjustment. Players who need to realize this isn’t small town football. Played with the big boys in a competition with a lot of tradition.
One of the things we hoard on during the week is guys, this game could end up being a rivalry. But until you go out and earn the other team’s respect, you won’t be a rival program to them. That was the challenge during the week that we presented to the players.
The first to take up the challenge was Williams. After Yucaipa came off a 38-21 manhandling from Citrus Valley last week, scoring the first 10 points of the game, Williams returned a 99-yard kick for a touchdown.
Beaumont may be in the CBL, but that doesn’t mean the Cougars don’t have throwback players like Williams. It’s not hard to watch a Swiss Army knife like Williams play for former Beaumont coach Gary Harvey in the De Anza League days of the 1980s.
And the Cougars needed that spark, given their first half of their mental sleepwalk. Yucaipa took that lead 17-7 via two touchdowns from Elijah James: a 31-year-old to Louie Sandoval (11 catches, 143 yards) and a 39-year-old to Andrew Maynard.
But just like last week against Cajon, Beaumont came out hot in the second half. After surpassing Yucaipa, the Cougars marched 81 yards in four plays 57 on Armando Cuellar’s 57-yard run. That was his only highlight, thanks to a T-Birds defense that kept him on the leash all night. He finished with a hard 75 meters.
Williams covered that ride with a touchdown of 8 meters. James answered barely two minutes later with a 21-meter run that gave Yucaipa a 24-14 lead.
And that ended the highlights of T-Birds. Beaumont marched down for a Justin Huck field goal from 34 yards. Then the Cougars recovered the first from Sandoval’s two fumbles. That turned into a scoring pass from Michael Cruz at 19-yard to Gabriel Nunez, who had seven catches for 161 yards.
A missed field goal from T-Birds turned into a 21-yard Williams touchdown run. Three times later, James was hit, fumbled, and Williams recovered. That became Nunez’s 2-yard scoring point with 46 seconds to go.
It was a story about two different games. Last week, we took care of all the sales and did all these great things, said Yucaipa coach Justin Price. This week it was the other way around. That second half is actually what we did with CV that happened to us. We flipped the ball a few times, we missed tackles, they were done with drives and we didn’t. A lot of things happened in the second half and it was an accumulation of things.
– Brian Robin
THE DEFENSE OF TEMESCAL CANYON SHINES
Temescal Canyon returned three fumbles for touchdowns as it endured a late run on Saturday to beat Vista Del Lago 41-28 in a non-league game.
Temescal Canyon led 24 points late in the third quarter, but saw that lead cut to just six points over a five-minute period with eight minutes left in the game. The Titans responded with a timely defensive position late in the fourth quarter that set up the game-securing touchdown drive.
I’m proud that these guys have stayed in the fray the whole time, said Temescal Canyon coach Brian Hildebrand. We talked all week about playing all three stages of the game, and the fact that we got offense, defense and special teams, it’s a tribute to the hard work and attention to detail of this team. We needed all those points tonight.
Junior Ray Lafontaine recovered two of those fumbles for a total of 70 yards of gain, while Nate Frankfather got the third with a 70-yard return of her own.
Vista Del Lago first struck in the middle of the first quarter when Jalen Smith caught an 80-yard bomb from quarterback Julian Medina.
Temescal Canyon used a trick play to level the game six minutes later when a perfectly executed flea fagot ended with wide receiver Marcus Frias discovering Kaalei Apana 28 yards downfield in the end zone.
The Titans then took the lead with two minutes to play in the half when David Navejas blocked a Ravens kick and LaFontaine picked up the fumble and took it 30 yards ahead of the score.
Temescal Canyon opened the second half with a 17-point run to take a 31-7 lead, but Vista Del Lagos Kelonte Turner found the end zone three times in the second half to bring the Ravens within very close range.
Dante Navejas pounded the game-securing score for the Titans with 1:03 left to play.
Everyone was running there today and no one came down, we stayed together as a unit on both sides of the ball, Lafontaine said. Opponents are always going to play, but what matters is how you react to them.
Vista Del Lago was led by the hosting duo Smith (5-177) and Terrence Simon (6-98). Turner finished the game with 102 yards on 24 tries.
Temescal Canyon quarterback Koa Apana took to the air 10 out of 20 for 133 yards, while his counterpart Medina completed 15 of 30 passes for 311 yards.
HIGHLIGHTS OF OTHER GAMES
Ganesha 53, Bassett 32: Jesse Carmona threw for 284 yards and a career-high five touchdowns when the Giants (2-0) won its Miramonte League-opener. Carmona also rushed for 124 yards and a touchdown and had an interception on the defense.
Indian Springs 36, Jurupa Valley 28: Andre Harris threw two touchdowns and rushed to another while the Coyotes won a Mountain Valley League game. Joshua Jones rushed for 91 yards, had 88 receiving yards, and scored three touchdowns for Indian Springs (1-0).
Miller 39, Pacific 15: Jhovanny Hernandez sped to 120 yards and two touchdowns when the Rebels (1-0) won a Mountain Valley League game. Steven Thomas and Matthew Perez Guzman each answered an interception for a touchdown for Miller.
Murrieta Valley 63, Murrieta Mesa 35: DJ Watts rushed for three touchdowns when the Nighthawks (3-0) won a Southwestern League game. Tiger Bachmeier caught a few touchdown passes and also kicked off a touchdown for Murrieta Valley.
Webb 20, Western Christian 6: Ethan Caldecott went 220 yards and two touchdowns when the Gauls (2-0) won a non-league game. Jake Baiz caught eight passes for 130 yards and touchdowns.
Claremont 49, Don Lugo 0: Chris Campuzano rushed to 223 yards and six touchdowns when Wolfpack (2-1) won their San Antonio League-opener.
Citrus Hill 52, Tahquitz 6: Keon Gantt threw four touchdown passes when the Hawks (2-1) won a Mountain Pass League game. Skyler Mesa had two touchdown catches and also returned a fumble for a touchdown.
San Jacinto 49, West Valley 13: David Myers rushed for 146 yards and three touchdowns when the Tigers (3-0) won a Mountain Pass League game.
Ramona 39, Patriot 7: Beau Bruins rushed for three touchdowns when the Rams (2-1) won a River Valley League game. Diego Muniz threw a few touchdowns for Ramona.
Arrowhead Christian 40, Santa Rosa Academy 6: Kaleb Stamps threw three touchdown passes to Josh Ortiz and also rushed for three touchdowns when the Eagles (2-1) won a non-league game.
Ontario Christian 41, Linfield Christian 14: Alexander Terriquez and Maxwell Watkins each scored two touchdowns when the Knights (3-0) won an Ambassador League game.
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