De Anza drops to Foothill 31-13, in first rivalry game since pandemic

Los Altos Hills – It was a season of misfortune for the De Anza College Mountain Lions and in their most anticipated game of the season, against rivals Foothill College, the contest eluded them early with a 31-13 loss.

The Owls took a 21-0 lead in the first quarter by nicking De Anza’s secondary twice for receiving touchdowns and punctuated the first beat by returning a punt for a score within a minute of the game. end.

“It was like a heavyweight fight,” De Anza coach Tony Santos said. “They hit us hard in the first lap and then we caught up the rest of the way.”

The loss sent the Mountain Lions down to 1-7 overall and 0-3 in conference, and the team are still chasing their first win since September.

Line of scrimmage with the Owls’ offense and De Anza’s defense. It was the first game these two rivals had played since the pandemic. (Kevin Nguyen)

“We won the second half and held them aimlessly,” Santos said. “But we have to start games faster and learn to play a full game. It’s something we just haven’t done this year.

The Mountain Lions defensive group talks about the adjustments. They were decisively routed in the first quarter, but held Foothill scoreless in the second.
(Kevin Nguyen)

Things started to improve for the Mountain Lions after the first quarter, with coaches reminding their team to play “one game at a time.” Running back Cameron Rynhard and quarterback Jordan Ausbie each responded with their own 30-yard gains, but both wiped them out with penalties.

All afternoon, De Anza would frustrate his fans by following this pattern. There was no better example than in the eighth minute of the second quarter, when defensive lineman Thomas Tai forced a fumble at the yard line, setting what was supposed to be an easy score.

Only the Mountain Lions groped the ball straight to Foothill when Santos chose to throw in a gadget game.

“Looking back, I wouldn’t have put these guys in this power lineup because they were defensive players,” Santos said. “The ball gets caught in the wind, hits our guy and we grope. It is typical of the season. We just cannot take a break.

Sophomore Ausbie threw for 138 yards with two touchdowns and made the highlight of the day late in the second half when he fumbled through five tackles, improvising for a first down that would set the final score of Mountain Lions.

Second-year quarterback Jordan Ausbie completes his first of two touchdowns against wide receiver Rocklin Curtis. (Kevin Nguyen)

“I thought today was a pretty good day for our attack; we just needed to focus more on execution, ”said Ausbie. “Our game plan was to run the ball a lot and every time we saw them stop that, that was when we watched our playing action and hit the pass.”

First-year defenseman Tai played inspired play in De Anza’s defense, forcing the aforementioned fumble and recording multiple tackles for losses and QB pressure.

“Man, it’s a great feeling to be able to make games like this to help my team.” Tai said. “This adrenaline rush that you get from playing and helping the team in that way is a really great feeling.”

De Anza will host Feather River College on Saturday, November 6 at 1 p.m. and close its season at Yuba College on November 13 at 1 p.m.

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE BOX SCORE:
Mountain Lions wide receiver Rocklin Curtis led the team in receptions with six catches for 61 yards and two touchdowns, and linebacker Sosefo Moeaki had eight tackles and two sacks at the top of the team.
In one half before retiring, Foothill star quarterback Aajon Johnson added three passing touchdowns and 48 rushing yards to an already excellent season with a 6-1 team record.
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