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Friday, January 18 , 2019, 4:29 pm | Fair 62º

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Mistakes, Slow-Starting Second Half Doom San Marcos

Ashkan Allen of San Marcos rushed for 117 yards on 26 carries. Click to view larger
Ashkan Allen of San Marcos rushed for 117 yards on 26 carries. (JC Corliss / Noozhawk photo)

San Marcos had a go-ahead touchdown taken away by a penalty and hurt itself with a sluggish start to the second half in suffering its sixth straight football loss on Friday night.

Nordhoff spoiled the Royals’ homecoming, 28-14, at Warkentin Stadium.

After the teams were deadlocked at 7-7 at halftime,  Nordhoff took charge at the start of the second half with a punishing running game. The Rangers’ offensive line blew open holes for running back Jake Perry, who rushed for 50 yards on an 84-yard drive that resulted in the go-ahead score. Perry scored on a 13-yard run. The PAT was blocked, leaving the Rangers with a 13-7 lead.

On the ensuing kickoff, Nordhoff caught San Marcos off guard with an onsides kick. Kicker Brendan Looker recovered the ball at the San Marcos 47.

The Rangers (2-3) went back to Perry and he pounded out 22 yards on three rushes before leaving the game with an injury. Quarterback Parker Johnson picked up the slack in the offense. He fired a 23-yard pass to Colby Stevens for a touchdown and hit Stevens again on the two-point conversion for a 21-7 lead with 5:42 left in the third quarter.

San Marcos never recovered from the slow start.

“This team is young and we’re not responding really well to adversity right now,” a frustrated Royals coach Jason Fowle said. “We thought we had the right attitude and outlook coming into the second half. It’s a lull in the second half we’ve had in the last couple of weeks. We got to get over that hump.”

Colby Stevens hauls in a touchdown pass for Nordhoff in the second half. Click to view larger
Colby Stevens hauls in a touchdown pass for Nordhoff in the second half. (JC Corliss / Noozhawk photo)

The Royals punted on their first possession of the second half and Nordhoff proceeded to march down the field and scored again. Johnson and Stevens hooked up on a 15-yard touchdown to make it 28-7.

The next time San Marcos got the ball quarterback Jacob Villarreal drove the team to the Nordhoff 24 before Edwardo Perez of the Rangers intercepted a pass at the 7.

“We just need to establish consistency,” said Fowle. “We got guys we need to rely on to be more consistent.”

San Marcos got the homecoming crowd excited in the first quarter as it drove 70 yards for a touchdown. Running back Ashkan Allen picked up yardage and Villarreal connected with 6-foot-3 receiver Mason Zimmerman on a 21-yard pass play. Villarreal scored the touchdown on a nifty 19-yard run. Steven Corona’s PAT gave the Royals a 7-0 lead.

The San Marcos offense was on the move again behind the running of Allen. But then disaster struck for the Royals. Villarreal lost the ball while being sacked and Nordhoff linebacker Tanner Garnsey picked it up and ran 22 yards for the tying touchdown early in the second quarter.

The Royals thought they got the lead back after Luke Pollock intercepted a pass and returned it 38 yards for an apparent touchdown. But the score was nullified by a block-in-the-back penalty on the return. They got to the Nordhoff 19 and attempted a 37-yard field goal, but the holder couldn’t settle the ball and the kick failed.

“We can’t get out of our own way,” Fowle said of the penalty on the return. “It was a good play by Luke Pollock. It wasn’t the first time we pushed a guy in the back tonight and made an undisciplined penalty. But we had plenty of other opportunities we didn’t take advantage of.”

The nullified TD and missed field goal proved to be an omen to the start of the second half for San Marcos. The Royals appeared flat and Nordhoff took control of the line of scrimmage.

Allen rushed for 117 yards on 26 carries, with 98 of the yards coming in the first half.

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