After last week’s fiasco at Rancho Cotate, Coach Alan Hern had what he called “a page and a half of corrections” he felt the varsity Bulldog football team needed to make, and that was just offensively.
After Friday night’s 57-10 battering of the Armijo-Fairfield Indians on the road, he said he expected it to still be about a page.
“The line play was pretty good for the most part,” Hern said of the performances from the boys in the trenches, but there were still some flaws in the play of their teammates. “[However] there were still receivers not running the right routes, improper spacing [on the field].”
Hern may sound like a man hell-bent on reaching perfection, but in reality he sees the flaws in a game dressed up by a score line against an opponent not up to snuff with what Alhambra will see in Diablo Foothill Athletic League (DFAL) play.
For that very reason tight end Josh Abraham’s health wasn’t risked after an ankle injury last week against Rancho Cotate. His stand in, Johnny Major, did well hauling in four passes for 38 yards on the night.
A proven runner in both the DFAL and preseason play, last year’s first team all-league selection Jonathan McCart had his breakout game of the season so far by running wild for 177 yards on 16 carries, while also hauling in over 40 yards through the air and four touchdowns on the night.
McCart scored twice after the Indians drew first blood on a 71-yard run by running back Elisha Toney. The Armijo score came after a fumbled snap from Alhambra quarterback Zach Elliott ended a promising drive.
Elliott went on to score on the ground himself behind a stellar effort from the offensive line, who outsized the Indians, and helped the Bulldogs rack up 321 yards of total offense in the first half alone.
“We were trying some other stuff (offensively) so I can get Zach (Elliott) more involved and make him more comfortable with his progressions,” Hern said after the game.
The line’s stellar play was punctuated after a 48-yard punt by junior Nicki Rucki pinned Armijo in the shadow of their own end zone. Senior Alex Contreras (who already had one sack earlier in the game) brought down the ball carrier for a safety.
Contreras, who had a standout game against College Park, and Dante Abono, who was missing last week against Rancho Cotate, in particular anchored the strong showing from the defensive side of the line of scrimmage.
Elliott shrugged off an early interception and connected with Damon Leonard for the senior’s third touchdown catch of the season, before an electric pick six by Matt Beck hyped up the Bulldog bench and activated the imaginary ticker in the head of the officials to start the merciful running clock.
Alhambra struck once more with sophomore Daniel Boyd scoring his second touchdown of the season late in the game.
With the win, the Bulldogs (2-1) head back home after three weeks away to host the Washington-Fremont Huskies on Sept. 18, 2015.