By Bobby Strachan
Power Outage. Simple as that. Actually, having a real power outage might have benefitted the Chargers on Friday, November 13. The Chargers started flat against the Rancho Cucamonga Cougars. Both teams entered the game posting 7-3 records. Edison’s losses came against Tesoro, Servite and Mater Dei; meanwhile, the Cougars losses were against Chino Hills, Upland and Norco. The first three Charger possessions resulted in a punt from within their own half of the field and their fourth resulted in an interception thrown by sophomore quarterback Griffin O’Connor. The Edison running game was lackluster and lacked any explosiveness or gained enough traction to warrant any attention from the Cougar defense. The passing game wasn’t much better with O’Connor overthrowing wide open receivers on easy short passes behind the line of scrimmage. The Chargers even tried to mix things up by putting in backup quarterback Bowen Blake, who ran the offense in a spread formation and on his second play in the pocket, completed a pass to David Atencio for a 23-yard pass that would set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Turner Maza. The only other Edison touchdown would come from a scoop-and-score from Bowen Blake for a 31-yard return after the fumble.
The Rancho Cucamonga offense also got off to a slow start, but thanks in part to a few Charger penalties, they got on the board to start it off with a field goal. Cougars running back, #3 Aaron Manning, rushed for 2 touchdowns with his longest breakaway being a 41-yard rush that would later be converted into a touchdown on a pass from quarterback #17 Angel Mutate to #4 Tyree Baker. Mutate would throw for 2 touchdowns, with Manning hauling in the second to total 3 touchdowns on the night.
Was this outcome to be expected? We knew O’Connor was bound to have a game where nothing went right, but was it expected to be a game where we had a favorable matchup on home soil? With so many starting seniors out injured, including two starting wide receivers Jacob Price and Garrett White, was there going to be less of a passing game? In an interview after the game, Head Coach of the Chargers Dave White said, “[Injuries] caught up with us a bit. I’m proud of the kids and the way they kept fighting through it all. It’s a tough way to end the season, but we lost to a good team.” Many sophomores and juniors for the Chargers were getting their first start on varsity. However, the Chargers did have their chances to put away the game and punch their ticket to the next round. At one point, the Chargers were even up 17-10 in the third quarter after the fumble recovery by Blake. Hopes were high for the win as it seemed that energy was leaking from the Cougars fan base. Yet, the Cougars must have had a backup reserve somewhere as they scored the final 20 points of the game.
Source: LA Times. Shaun Colamonico intercepts a pass to end the 1st half.
Another injured Charger suffers. Senior Gasper Atencio was also injured in the 1st half.