SACRAMENTO – Lathrop threw punches with Capital Christian for four quarters Friday night.
The Cougars’ all-purpose standout Justice Shelton-Mosley broke for a 65-yard TD rush that stretched CC’s lead to nine and eventually made up the final score, 21-12.
Shelton-Mosley finished with all three of CC’s touchdowns in a 21-carry, 145-yard performance.
“We watched Lathrop play Liberty Ranch, and we knew we were in for a battle,” Capital Christian coach Phil Grams said. “I think (Shelton-Mosley) is the best player on the planet. Lathrop contained him pretty well in the first half, but you just can’t stop him. He’s an incredible player.”
The Lathrop (0-2) defense limited Shelton-Mosley to 42 yards in the first half. However, he broke for a 33-yard gain that set up his 9-yard TD run and a 65-yard touchdown – both in the third quarter.
Capital Christian (3-0) took a 6-0 lead into the half after Shelton-Mosley scored on a 3-yard TD after beating Lathrop’s Mykhail Redmond in a foot race to the right pylon as the second-quarter clock expired.
Lathrop, whose standout running back Hawaii Leaf a’ Teo ran for 119 yards on 18 carries, played an inspired ball game.
“From a coaches’ perspective, our boys came out and played all four quarters as hard as they could,” Lathrop coach Steve Wichman said. “We let a few plays get away from us, but it’s Week 2 and we’ll go back to the film room and see what we need to clean up. We are earning respect from teams that we are playing, but it’s not about that, it’s about winning.”
Lathrop’s defense forced CC to punt on its first possession of the second half. Leaf a’ Teo evened the score at 6-6 with a 14-yard scamper on a right toss. That was set up by a Capital Christian pass interference call, one of its three 15-yard penalties (eight total, 75 yards).
Capital Christian answered back on the ensuing possession 2-minutes, 4-seconds later that stretched the lead back out to 14-6.
Lathrop then put together a 5-minute drive that saw Kevin Rainey (15 carries, 72 yards, TD) march into the end zone from 22 yards out. A failed two-point conversion made it 14-12.
Shelton-Mosley put Lathrop in a two-possession hole with 1:18 left in the third after breaking from 65 yards away.
Shelton-Mosley put on a spin move at the 50-yard line and stutter stepped the last Lathrop defender at the 20 before heading for the score that made up the final.
Lathrop QB Kenny Garrett was intercepted twice and finished 8 of 16 with 43 yards. One of those picks killed a fourth-quarter drive for the Spartans, who will visit Ripon Friday.