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Special teams spark undefeated Cougars in rout of Bear Creek
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STOCKTON — Weston Ranch is 3-0 once again.
This time, head coach Seth Davis wants the Cougars to carry the momentum into the Valley Oak League with an eye on the program’s first Sac-Joaquin Section playoff berth in 11 years. They appear to be on the right track so far after crushing Bear Creek on the road 71-14 on Friday.
“They’re excited,” Davis said. “We worked hard all summer long for this, but we know that this is just a stepping stone. We did what we had to do in the preseason and we open with Central Catholic in two weeks, but we have to get better. We started 3-0 last year too, but we have to be able to translate that into league. The guys are not satisfied yet.”
For now, the Cougars can take satisfaction in their most recent impressive performance, dominating the winless Bruins in every facet.
Elijah Harper set the tone with an 85-yard touchdown on the opening kickoff. Albert White then dropped the Bear Creek quarterback for a safety and one of his three sacks, and Malik Vega-Tatum returned the ensuing punt 75 yards for another score. Weston Ranch led 16-0 inside the first three minutes with quarterback Terry Snipes (7 of 13, 145 yards, two TDs) and the offense having yet taken the field.
Also worth noting: Weston Ranch used three different kickers — all from the soccer team — who combined to go 9 for 9 on point-after kicks.
“We spent more time on our special teams game,” Davis said. “We feel with our athleticism we have to get better in that area. We’re focused on all three phases of football, and for us to get out like that was huge for momentum. We were able to start fast and kept the pedal down.”
There was no slowing down for Harper after his rousing start. He had another kickoff return for a touchdown in the second quarter, this one spanning 80 yards, and the 6-foot-3 receiver finished with six catches for 105 yards and two other scores.
Cori Floyd (10 carries, 160 yards, two TDs) and James Walker (seven carries, 150 yards, two TDs) led the rushing attack. Defensively, Felix Pitts had a pick-six while Jeremiah Holman and Jose Zetino each contributed an interception. Defensive lineman Cordillyo Pollard had two sacks.