Hounds suffer tough loss to St. Francis Lancers
–After their upset by Stockdale in the week prior, the Greyhounds returned to their home field last Friday, Sept. 16 with high hopes as they took on the St. Francis Lancers. However, these hopes were quickly snuffed out within seconds after the game began, ultimately leading to what would be a 13-34 loss.
Even before the game began, Atascadero fans, although supportive, couldn’t help but feel the sneaking suspicion that their chances of victory might be doomed. Perhaps this was because of the season record comparison between the two teams, St. Francis being twenty-eighth in the state as opposed to Atascadero’s 252nd. Or perhaps it simply was because (although quantity does not always equate quality) St. Francis dauntingly outnumbered Atascadero in players nearly 2-1.
The Hounds deferred receiving the kickoff after winning the coin toss, allowing the Lancers to complete a strong pass and an unstoppable run. The Lancers practically waltzed into the end-zone to make their first touchdown, score: 0-7. In a mix of disbelief and pained acceptance of the inevitable, the Hounds took their shot at reaching touchdown territory. They were unable to earn themselves any ground closer than twenty yards from the line of scrimmage. Having gained repossession of the ball, St. Francis blasted through Atascadero’s defense, scoring once again. The Hounds seemed as though they were slamming themselves into a brick wall whenever they squared off against the Lancer’s defense. However, with only twenty-two seconds left in the quarter, Atascadero managed to hold off the steam train that was the Lancer’s offensive line, forcing the Lancers to punt for three points instead. The quarter ended 0-17 St. Francis.
The second quarter, much like the first one, was simply a battle of strength as both teams struggled to keep one another from gaining any substantial ground. Neither team managed to hold an advantage over the other and they went into halftime with the score still at 0-17.
Atascadero came back from halftime with a nice twenty yard run by Brian Vasquez. Unfortunately for the Hounds, the play was flagged and the ball was soon turned back over to St. Francis, who scored shortly afterwards. Getting close to the end-zone, Carson Rinkenberger made a twenty yard pass to Elijah Cooks. The Greyhounds then broke through the Lancer’s defensive brick wall, resulting in Cooks scoring the Hounds’ first touchdown of the night, score: 6-31. The Hounds later held off the Lancers offensive line, forcing the Lancers to settle for a field goal for three points. There was no further scoring in the quarter.
At the 10:50 mark of the final quarter, Cooks received yet another twenty yard pass, giving Atascadero another touchdown. This was also the final score of the night, as the clock quickly counted down. The Greyhounds continued to hold their own against St. Francis’ onslaught of speed and brute strength, but it’s likely that both they and fans alike knew that there was no chance of recovery after the hits they suffered in the first half. The game finally ended 13-34, Lancers.
Although the past weeks have been relatively disappointing for Atascadero, hope is not lost. After next week’s away game against Madera, the Hounds will begin league play in Pioneer Valley.
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