Saturday, September 13, 2008

San Marcos snaps losing streak


They rushed the field at Valley Stadium last night. A year after going winless on the gridiron, the San Marcos football team and its fans celebrated a victory. And the Royals did it in dramatic fashion.
Alvaro Garcia, playing in his first football game, kicked a 32-yard field goal with 21 seconds left to give San Marcos a 10-8 triumph over Rio Mesa.

“It’s just one game, and we’re on the right track,” said San Marcos coach Dare Holdren, trying to keep an air of calmness while everyone else on the field was going bananas. “The kids played hard and had a lot of fun. It’s a lot funner when you win.” Holdren and the Royals suffered through a 0-10 season last year.
For a while last night, it looked as though Royals were headed for another defeat. Trailing 8-7 with 1:49 remaining, they fell short on a fourth-and-1 play from the 37-yard line.
Rio Mesa tried to run out the clock by handing the ball to running back Jamaal Perkins, who in the third quarter busted loose in a 68-yard run for the Spartans’ touchdown. The Royals stuffed Perkins on first down and then Louis Giroux and Adrian Stimson blasted him, forcing him to fumble the ball. Kirk Renga recovered at the San Marcos 36 to give them new life with 1:03 left.
On first down, the Royals got a big break when Rio Mesa was called for pass interference on a long pass from quarterback James Crook to Jordan Kuykendall. From the 21, Crook found Max Cavalier for a 5-yard gain and then spiked the ball on the next play.
Kuykendall moved the ball into the middle of the field on a 3-yard run, giving Alvaro a straight shot at the goalpost.
The senior, who had a field goal try blocked in the second quarter and another attempt botched by a bad snap, was perfect on his third attempt.
“I wanted to prove to my fans I could kick,” said Garcia, a senior and a standout on the San Marcos soccer team. “I was happy to get that chance.”
He said he got plenty of support from his teammates before going out for the game-winning kick.
“They told me to relax. ‘Just relax, you can do it,’ he related.
“He never kicked in a football game in his life,” said Holdren. “He did a great job. Our snapper did a great job coming after the bad snapper earlier.”
The teams missed on field-goal attempts in a conservative first half.
They loosened up in the second half.
San Marcos took the opening kickoff of the second half and drove 63 yards for its touchdown. The drive started with a pass from Crook to Max Cavalier and ended with the same combination hooking up for a 10-yard score, Cavalier climbed the ladder to haul in Crook’s pass. Christian Leon kicked the PAT for a 7-0 lead.
“The quarterback threw it up and I caught it,” said the 6-3 Cavalier.
Hard running by Jordan Kuykendall helped keep the drive going. Kuykendall finished as the Royals’ leading rusher with 54 yards on 19 carries.
San Marcos quarterback Crook was efficient in his first varsity start, completing 9 of 17 passes for 67 yards and a touchdown
The Royals’ celebration, however, didn’t last long.
Perkins finally was able to break free from the defense, cut to the outside and scampered 68 yards for a touchdown. He finished with 113 yards on 21 carries.
The Spartans took the lead on a successful fake of a PAT kick. Perham, the holder, took the snap and completed a pass to Lawrence Garcia for a two-point conversion.
Those were the only big plays the Royals allowed.
“We started a lot of young players, we had 13-14 juniors playing tonight,” Holdren said. “It took us a while to feel the game. We made a few adjustments at halftime and our defense played really well.”
Holdren said Friday’s season-opening victory is a great start for his Royals, but he reminded everyone, “It’s just one game and our goal is to win a lot of games.”


Rio Mesa.......... 0 0 8 0 — 8
San Marcos..... 0 0 7 3 — 10

Third quarter
SM-- Cavalier 10 pass from Crook, Leon kick, 6:27
RM -- Perkins 68 run, Garcia pass from Perham

Fourth quarter
SM -- FG 32, Garcia, :21.

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