The game: Yorba Linda made the most of a lackadaisical Canyon start, scoring on its first three possessions in grabbing a 17-3 lead after the first quarter. They wouldn’t find the end zone again until their final drive of the night, though, as Canyon's defense ramped up their play, pressuring Mustangs quarterback Kamren Freck on his drop backs in addition to putting some hats on running backs Mason Winter and Jaydyn Webb at the line of scrimmage. Jason Harman and the Comanches offense would begin executing in the second half, and once they picked up the tempo, there was no stopping Canyon’s attack. The senior quarterback accounted for four second half touchdowns, and helped the Comanches score 36 unanswered to completely turnaround the ballgame.
Key to the game: As Canyon coach Mike Ogas said postgame, the defense rebounded and held down the fort after a forgetful first quarter. Yorba Linda had 11 possessions from the second quarter on and they resulted as follows: punt, punt, punt, halftime, punt, punt, punt, turnover on downs, punt, Canyon pick six, touchdown. After gashing Canyon’s defense in the first half, Winter and Webb were held in check for just 84 yards rushing on 20 carries in the second half (26 of those coming on one carry). With Canyon’s front seven clogging the lanes, Yorba Linda regularly found itself in second- and third-and-long situations. The Mustangs became more predictable at that point, and the Comanches capitalized.
Player of the game: Harman. The senior signal caller completed 8-of-9 passes for 183 yards and three touchdowns after the intermission. On his 44- and 81-yard TD throws, Harman used his legs to extend the play, allowing Charlie Treanor and Garrett McDowell to get behind the Mustangs secondary. In delivering a pair of strikes down the field, Canyon would grab a 25-17 lead by the end of the third quarter.
Key Stat: Can’t say it enough. Canyon scored 36 unanswered from the second quarter into the late fourth. Max Meyers booted a field goal, Harman and the offense dialed it in, and Josh Semaan added a pick six to turn a 14-point deficit into a 22-point lead.
What it means: The Crestview and North Hills Leagues finally start next week. But on a larger scale, Canyon should be considered the favorite to win the CIF Southern Division title. Looking at their 4-3 record, the Comanches only losses have come against San Juan Hills, Edison and Villa Park. No other squad in the Southern Division has played a schedule even remotely as difficult, and Canyon has handled itself extremely well when given the opportunity to play against some of the county’s elite programs.
Yorba Linda will see Villa Park next week in its league opener. The Mustangs (2-5) will likely need to go 2-1 in league to earn a playoff spot in the Southwest Division.