Hounds earn first win of the Atascadero High football season
Greyhounds beat the Foothill High Knights 36-24
–On Friday night, Aug. 26, the Atascadero High School Greyhounds had their first victory of the varsity football season against the Foothill High School Knights, scoring a satisfying 36-24 by the end of the fourth quarter.
The Hounds had a rocky start in the first half, but then came back to redeem themselves in the third quarter. They now are preparing for their away game next week in Ventura.
The Hounds were greeted onto the field by full stands of fans, eager see what the new batch of varsity players could offer this year. The air of hope and excitement was amplified by the AHS marching band and cheerleaders, who seemed to be keeping up Greyhound spirit stronger than ever. Finally, as fans stood and held their breath in anticipation, the players lined up for the kickoff.
Atascadero was first to receive, but was unable to carry the ball any further than fifteen yards. They were briefly redeemed, however, when number fifty-five John-Conner Ruggiero intercepted a quick pass by the Knights. The Hounds travelled down the field until they were stopped at the thirty-five yard line, forcing Coach Cooper to call a time-out during the third down. Regardless, the Knights stood their ground, forcing the Hounds to give up the ball. By the 5:20 mark in the quarter, the score still sat at 0-0. Much like the Knights before, the Hounds too rallied their defense to eventually earn their repossession. Almost immediately afterwards, number thirty-four Tysen Delkener ran over sixty yards to score the first Greyhound touchdown of the season. The score remained 6-0 when the Hounds were unable to connect the play for their extra two points.
Starting the second quarter, the Knights continued to break through the Hounds’ defenses, which eventually earned them their touchdown, leaving the score 6-7, Knights. After the return, Atascadero reached the sixty-five yard line, only to have the Knights intercept a pass during the second down. Foothill later decided in favor of a goal kick, which landed them another three points. After a short-lived fumble-recovery by Foothill (which was stopped by the Hounds at thirty-five yards), Atascadero pushed relentlessly to the Knight’s fifteen yard line, where they settled for a goal kick, raising the score to 9-10: Knights. Foothill’s repossession was intercepted in the first down after the kickoff, which the Hounds soon took advantage of. The ball was sent downfield, to be caught by number four, Elijah Cooks, scoring the Hounds a much-needed second touchdown, score: 15-10, Hounds.
Less than a minute after the break, Atascadero managed to recover a fumble at the fifteen. They took advantage of the opportunity and another touchdown was scored by Cooks. Soon after, the Knights came dangerously close to the Atascadero end-zone. But instead, they were eventually forced to watch number nine, Lucas Sprouse take it all the way for a Greyhound touchdown, score: 29-10, Hounds. Fate continued to turn for the Knights after Atascadero picked up a fumble at their thirty yard line. A thirty yard pass to Delkener gave Hounds yet another touchdown, bumping their score up seven more points. Over the course of the next four minutes, Foothill pulled off a much-needed touchdown. For the rest of the third quarter, the score board sat idle at 36-17, Greyhounds.
With seven minutes left of the final quarter, the Hounds, who could only keep Foothill dancing around the end-zone for so long, eventually failed to stop them from breaking in for what would be their last touchdown of the night. The rest of the game was simply a test of strength for the Hound’s defense as they held fast against a vicious cycle of gained ground and repossession. But at last, as the clock ran down to zero, Greyhound fans rejoiced looking at their home team’s reassuring 36-24 victory. Now, they hold on to the hope that this year, the Atascadero High School varsity football team will take it all the way in their season.
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