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Brown shows he's as tough as Capo Valley's defense
LONG BEACH – Defense has been Capistrano Valley’s calling card this season, and it has allowed quarterback Kevin Brown to play with confidence.
The Cougars won their CIF-SS Division 5 semifinal against M.L. King of Riverside, 20-14, last week. It was the 13 time this season that Capo Valley held an opponent to 14 points or fewer.
The defense actually pitched a shutout on their end, as King’s 14 points came off two pick-sixes by Brown in the first half.
King harassed the Capo Valley quarterback with four first-half sacks, which left a couple cuts on his face that were noticeable at the CIF-SS football championship luncheon in Long Beach on Monday.
“He’s just mentally and physically tough,” Capo Valley coach Ernie Bucher said. “I’ve seen him physically take a pounding and get back up. I’ve seen him mentally make mistakes and overcome them. This last week would be a perfect example.”
After the rough first half, Brown came back strong in the last two quarters, completing 16 of 21 passes for 200 yards and two touchdowns.
“Obviously the first half was rough,” Brown said, “but my team was able to support me enough that I knew it was never over. It wasn’t like a 14-point lead was something we couldn’t score.”
Brown said the Cougars don’t worry about early deficits because they know their defense will give them a chacce to mount a comeback.
“Often times a team will get a touchdown or a field goal on their first couple possessions and we’ve always been able to come back,” Brown said. “We all know that with our defense, that’s the only one they’re going to get. That’s the only one.”
SIX SECONDS OF HELL
The signature of the Capo Valley defense is pressure as evidenced by 18 and 12.5 sacks by the defensive end pair of Zach Ritner and Nolan Reeve, respectively.
“We’ve been tremendously relentless all year,” Bucher said. “Our defensive coordinator, Dave Ricci, he comes from this idea of ‘six seconds of hell’ is what he calls it. We’re playing hard for those six seconds.”
Bucher and his staff are quick to find any “loaf” with their players and swiftly correct it.
“We want those kids playing full-speed fast the entire time,” Bucher said. “It’s gotten us this far.”
PARTY LIKE ITS 1990
Capistrano Valley is in the finals for the first time since 1990, and adding to the Cougars’ excitement is that they get to be at home for the game.
“I know everyone is coming to the game, as they should,” Brown said. “It’s going to be amazing.”
In 1990, Capo Valley won the Division 2 championship game against Paramount at Santa Ana Stadium.
In these playoffs, after a first-round home game against Foothill, they had to go to Ventura and Riverside for their next two games. The Cougars are happy to be home, but just happier to still be playing.
“It’s exciting for the school. It’s exciting for the community,” Bucher said. “We’re happy to be playing it at home at Capo. Home field is a little bit (of an advantage) in high school. I don’t think that it’s as big a factor. It’s just going to be fun for the school and the community.”