The sophomores shined for Cate’s 8-man football team in a 48-0 win over visiting Sage Hill on Saturday.

Sophomore Ethan Ligon saw major minutes in just his second ever football game and electrified the crowd with a punt return for a touchdown, his first ever.

As the Rams built their lead to 26-0, fellow sophomore Matty Holmes took over at quarterback and added a quick score of his own, a 4-yard run to put the Rams up 34-0 going into halftime. 

In the second half, the sophomores continued so demonstrate their growth with running backs John Endres and Jack Ludviksen rounding out the scoring.

Sophomore,defensive back Mason Oetgen added an interception to preserve the shutout for the Rams.

“We have seen the evolution of this group in practice every day,” Cate coach Ben Soto said of the sophomores. “They were hungry to get some real game action today and they made the most of their opportunities. I am hopeful this taste of varsity will excite them enough to come back on Monday and work even harder.”

Will Deardorf started at quarterback for the Rams and scored on a keeper on the second play from scrimmage. Deardorff would add another score later in the first quarter, a 9-yard scamper just one minute later.

On the ensuing possession Sage Oak drove the length of the field only to be thwarted by the Rams on a fourth-and-goal play from the 5-yard line.

Senior Elliott Tsai came up with a clutch deflection in the back of the end zone to keep the Saints from scoring.

The Rams then returned the favor, driving 75 yards in seven plays, with senior Khadim Pouye capping the drive with a 20-yard run to paydirt.

With the win, the Rams move to 2-0 on the season. They will travel to Santa Maria next Friday night to take on long time northern rival Orcutt Academy. Kickoff is scheduled for 7pm at Pioneer Valley High School. 

— Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.