Miscues on special teams led to a heartbreaking loss for Weston Ranch, which otherwise had a promising start to the season under new supervision Friday night.
The Cougars were on the losing end of a 48-40 thriller against visiting Stockton rival Franklin. The Yellowjackets (1-1) avenged last year’s 28-26 double-overtime defeat in the process.
Marcus Moore racked up 340 yards and four touchdowns passing. He also had 95 yards and another score on the ground. Receiver Chris Cannaday amassed 270 yards and five TDs.
“It’s tough,” first-year Weston Ranch head coach Seth Davis said. “We had a pretty good crowd and as a program we’re getting our feet wet with a new coaching staff. The kids responded really well and played four quarters of football, but we just didn’t play all three phases of football.”
The Weston Ranch defense stifled the Franklin attack for the most part, giving up just six points in the opening half. But the Cougars, ahead 20-6 at one point in the second quarter, found themselves trailing 21-20 by the break. Franklin closed in by scoring on a kickoff return, and on the ensuing kickoff recovered a Weston Ranch fumble and took it to the house. Within seconds, Weston Ranch had lost its control of the game.
Franklin scored on a third special teams play in the fourth quarter, which gave it a 41-34 lead. Weston Ranch was stopped on downs deep in its own territory and intentionally gave up a quick score to give itself a chance at coming back.
Cannaday’s 90-yard jaunt on the kickoff gave the Cougars some hope, but Franklin sealed it by recovering the onside kick.