Hounds earn well deserved victory at homecoming
With overflowing school spirit on their Homecoming night Friday, the Atascadero Greyhounds picked up a victory on their home turf against the Righetti Warriors. The Hounds finally were able to show their league what they were capable of after holding a hefty 33-7 victory over their southern neighbors.
Atascadero fared well in defending against the Warriors’ advances starting off the first quarter, forcing the Warriors to make a return kick to the Hounds’ thirty yard line. The Hounds seemed to be on their A-game right from the start as they blasted through the Warriors’ defense, reaching first down after first down. The Warriors had difficulty keeping the Hounds at bay, which was unusual considering their normally defensively dominant history in past games against the Hounds. Taking advantage of the holes in their opponents’ defense, Atascadero’s Arik Machado ran in the first touchdown of the night, taking hold of the Hounds’ lead, score: 7-0. The Warriors attempted to match the Greyhounds on the scoreboard, but were quickly shut down. Having gained repossession of the ball, the Hounds reached the Warriors’ thirty five yard line before the shot sounded off the end of the quarter.
Atascadero picked up right where they left off, coming into the second quarter, with another touchdown by Machado raising their lead fourteen points over Rightetti’s zero. That score soon changed however, when Righetti began to weave through the Hounds’ defense earning their first touchdown of the night. With only 3:38 left in the half, the Greyhounds had to push hard to make one last possible touchdown, which would give them a comfortable advantage over the Warriors as they headed into the third quarter. The game was paused momentarily when Cole Ratliffe was taken off the field in what seemed to be a leg injury. But, in a sort of eye for an eye moment, one Righetti player was carried off the field, having also suffered a leg injury. Despite losing Ratliffe, the Hounds still continued to deliver when Julian Mendoza received a ten yard pass by Carson Rinkenberger for another Greyhound touchdown. With thirty seconds left the Warriors received the return on their own forty yards, but were unable to bring in any points before the quarter ended with the Hounds in the lead: 21-7.
Both teams were kept at a standstill throughout most of the third quarter. The Hounds started off with the ball, but couldn’t bring it past the thirty yard line. Likewise, Righetti failed to make any significant ground themselves. Finally, with thirty-five seconds left, Elijah Cooks received a fifteen yard pass down field for a touchdown putting the Greyhounds a solid twenty points ahead of the Warriors. The Greyhounds headed into the final quarter with a comfortable 27-7 lead.
The Hounds began their climb back up to the end-zone after holding back the Warriors at the fifty yard line at the start of the quarter. Machado paved the way for Atascadero with a fifty yard dash along the sidelines. His play was followed up with a touchdown by Garrett Raminha, adding to Atascadero’s handy lead, score: 33-7, Greyhounds. With only three minutes left in the game, Righetti lauched the ball thirty yards toward one of their receivers who was followed in toe by the Hounds’ Brian Vasquez. Both Vasquez and the Righetti receiver landed in a heap, neither refusing to let go of the ball as they lay huddled on the ground for several seconds. Eventually, Vasquez stood triumphant as the play was called an interception in his favor. The Hounds continued to keep possession of the ball until time ran out. Atascadero celebrated their Homecoming victory holding thirty three points over Righetti’s seven.
The Hounds’ victory was a welcome change in pace for the Atascadero Varsity football season. They currently stand 4-3 in the season and 1-0 in the league. If they continue to uphold this recent series of wins, fans might just expect to see them compete in the CIF playoffs. The Greyhounds now prepare for their away game against San Luis Obispo this Friday, Oct. 21.
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