Capo Valley pressure makes El Rancho buckle


PICO RIVERA – The Capistrano Valley defense was not going to let Friday’s game come down to playing prevent defense in the final minute.

The Cougars stuck with what they did effectively all night – pressuring the quarterback – and it led to an interception by Zach Stroud with 22 seconds left as the Cougars held on for a 27-19 nonleague victory over El Rancho of Pico Rivera.

Capistrano Valley spent most of the night sacking El Rancho quarterback Adam Chandler or making him get rid of the ball quickly. Defensive tackle Alex Bale led the defense, finishing with three of the Cougars’ six sacks and added three other tackles for losses. He teamed with the rest of the defensive line for arguably the biggest play of the night, pressuring Chandler into an incomplete pass on a 2-point conversion attempt in the fourth quarter that would have tied the game.

The Cougars (2-0) started fast, opening a 21-0 lead in the first half behind three touchdown passes from quarterback Kevin Brown. Brown threw two of those to Mitchell Nickovich, who finished with seven catches for 119 yards.

The game was far from over in the fourth quarter when the Cougars got the ball on their own 21-yard line with 8 minutes left.

Having nearly abandoned the running game entirely, the Cougars decided to give it one more try. Running back Tyler Waggoner carried the ball on five consecutive plays to start the drive and eventually capped it with a 7-yard touchdown run. Waggoner finished with 110 yards rushing.

The Dons (0-2) were held to 28 yards rushing. They finished with 271 yards passing, but that took 43 attempts and the relentless pressure led to the clinching interception by Stroud.

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