Prep Impressions: Week 9-B
I covered the Fontana Kaiser-Fontana Summit varsity football game on Friday, Oct. 30, 2015, for The Press-Enterprise, HSGametime.pe.com & @PEcom_preps, and came away thinking I didn’t expect to see a blowout.
That’s what happened, though, and it wasn’t pretty for Kaiser. A first for this rivalry.
But there was a moment, in the final two minutes of the first quarter, when it still looked as if the game could go either way. Tied 7-7 after Kaiser RB Joshua Johnson’s direct-snap 71-yard touchdown run, Summit QB Cade Sparks went to work on offense.
Staring down Kaiser’s defense on 3rd-and-1, Sparks threw a quick release out wide to Damian Alloway. The senior WR failed to catch the ball and stopped. Kaiser junior OLB Kenneth Smith picked up the ball and ran into the end zone before a whistle blew.
Both sidelines struggling to maintain decency, the referee crew got together. It was a long 28 seconds. The crew chief eventually emerged and ruled incomplete pass. No touchdown for Kaiser’s Smith.
Summit’s crowd breathed a collective sigh of relief. Kaiser’s crowd had some choice words.
“That’s a momentum call right there, but that’s how it goes. What are you going to do?” said Kaiser coach Phil Zelaya, who has now lost three of his last five games vs. Summit.
The other side of this is Summit coach Nick Matheny, who never thought any recovery or return was valid.
“We’re in shotgun formation so we’re throwing downhill. Was our guy behind the line of scrimmage? Absolutely,” Summit coach Nick Matheny said. “I had full confidence, to be honest, when they (the referees) started talking that it would be overturned. I don’t think it was a backward pass at all; Definitely wasn’t designed to be!”
Summit RB Stephen Carr ran for five yards on 4th down, and Summit used little further effort on its way to a rout. Sparks and Alloway connected on a 15-yard TD on the next play, as the SkyHawks (9-0 overall, 4-0 Sunkist) scored on six of their next 13 plays and grabbed a 54-6 victory.
Fontana Kaiser head coach Phil Zelaya:
“They’re good. I don’t think it’s much more than that. They’re really coached better, and when you get some good coaching and you have a few guys who can go, that’s what you get. We turned the ball over (and) those are the mistakes you can’t make against a good football team. When you make those mistakes they make you pay for it, and that’s what they did. They did a good job. First half, we don’t get a call on that lateral — so to speak. Does that change the ballgame? No, but that’s momentum, and they’re a good football team. Coach (Matheny) has done a good job of coaching them. They’re a good football team. I’ll stand by that. They’re fast and they move fast. You can’t cover everything. We got to be ready to go next week. This game is done. What did we get out of it? Probably just subtle adjustments here and there. But what it comes down to is when you’re fast, you’re fast. We have to win next week. I don’t know if that’s negative or positive but we got to win next week.”
Fontana Summit head coach Nick Matheny:
“Sometimes talent draws, and people say ‘Oh, it’s just the talent,’ but these guys are team players. They’re just really good kids so I think that’s a large part to their success. I asked them to get up at 4:30 in the morning everyday and come to practice and work hard. The sun’s not up yet! Tuesday nights and Wednesday mornings, so we don’t just roll out of bed and say, ‘Hey, let’s go throw the ball around.’ These kids have done a ton of work. Our staff has done a ton of work. Very happy. Very happy for our players tonight. Very proud of them, too. Sometimes there’s nights that go your way. Tonight went out way. We had great field position. I think it’s one of those things now when we get that fortune, there’s been times, last year we were a much different ball club, (but) tonight we got the ball, punched it in and finished.”