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Hounds suffer loss against Stockdale during tough defensive game 

Kobe Cross, followed by his teammates, attempts to break through Stockdale's defense.

Kobe Cross, followed by his teammates, attempts to break through Stockdale’s defense.

–After a close 19-22 loss to Ventura on Friday Sept. 1, the Atascadero High School Greyhounds hoped to redeem themselves at home against the Stockdale Mustangs. Unfortunately a combination of Stockdale’s tight defense and some failed offensive tactics resulted in a 14-28 loss for the Hounds, placing them 0-0 in the league thus far.

The first quarter was probably the fastest anyone has seen of a Greyhound game in years. With the clock running almost non-stop, it took Atascadero until the 8 minute mark to finally obtain possession of the ball after it was first kicked off to Stockdale. Fourth downs and repossessions were almost as continuous and frequent as the timer ticking down and little ground was covered for either team. By the time the clock hit zero, ending the quarter, the scoreboard still read 0-0.

Logan Jennings breaks away from the action for a shot at the Hounds' next first down.

Logan Jennings breaks away from the action for a shot at the Hounds’ next first down.

In a change of pace for the game, Stockdale immediately made a thirty-seven yard pass to reach the end-zone. However, a flag on the play pushed back their offense nearly twenty yards, resulting in an inevitable fourth down. Atascadero seemed to be having trouble finding their way around the brick wall of Stockdale’s defense (something that seemed like a common issue that lead to the Hounds’ loss). Later in the quarter, after what seemed like another fourth down for the Greyhounds actually turned out to be a pass interference by the Mustangs, which moved the Hounds up to their next first down. However, a fumble on a play soon afterward gave Stockdale a repossession.

During their chance at the end-zone, a flag for unsportsmanlike conduct by Stockdale gave Atascadero’s defense a chance at holding back their opponent’s offensive. However, the lost yards did not seem to faze Stockdale as they quickly pushed through the Hounds’ defense, resulting in their first touchdown of the game, score: 0-7. With only a little over a minute left in the half, Elijah Cooks received a fifty-five yard pass, practically knocking on the end-zone’s door. Unfortunately, Atascadero failed to make the connection for both a touchdown and a goal kick, leaving the score at 0-7 by halftime.

After the break as well after minutes of gaining and losing ground, a personal foul by Stockdale placed Atascadero in first down territory. This crucial lead was taken advantage of immediately, when, in the very next play, Cooks ran in the first Greyhound touchdown, evening the score to 7-7. However, Stockdale struck back with their offense, ultimately leading to Stockdale regaining the lead with another touchdown, score: 7-14, Mustangs. Atascadero ended the quarter on Stockdale’s thirty-five yard line.

Senior TE Elijah Cooks made a fine catch in the end zone for a 4th quarter touchdown for the Greyhounds. Photo by Rick Evans.

Senior TE Elijah Cooks made a fine catch in the end zone for a 4th quarter touchdown for the Greyhounds. Photo by Rick Evans.

Throughout the fourth quarter, the Mustangs kept the Hounds’ chance with the ball at a tantalizing distance, but never within reach of Atascadero. These tactics resulted in Stockdale’s third touchdown, scoring twenty-one over the Greyhounds’ seven. Later, in a streak of luck for the Greyhounds, a fumble during a Stockdale repossession placed the ball in their hands. The Hounds’ tactics, which had been relatively hit or miss for the majority of the game, finally paid off as Elijah Cooks soon landed another touchdown for the Hounds, score: 14-21. By this point, only 2:54 remained on the clock, meaning that Atascadero could not risk giving Stockdale any opportunities to score if they hoped to be able to come back for a possible win or overtime. Tensions and hopes were as high as ever. But, in a near perfect play, the Mustangs connected a bullet-like pass, which was ran roughly sixty-seven yards downfield to score their final nail in the coffin against Atascadero. Atascadero still managed to have few good runs afterwards, but with only a minute and a half left in the game, any comeback would take a miracle. Unfortunately, no miracles were had for Atascadero, leaving the final score at 14-28, Stockdale.

Atascadero will hopefully not become discouraged by this loss and instead look pridefully and hopefully toward more wins in the future. They have their next chance to redeem themselves against St. Francis this Friday, Sept. 16, with the home field advantage and support of their fans.

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