Young Kicker Key in Playoff

Young Kicker Key in Playoff

Ygnacio Valley lines up for an offensive play against Campo’s defense. The Cougars defense held the Warriors to 14 points.

Jack Moeller, Sports Editor

Varsity football defeated Ygnacio Valley 52-14 to open their NCS playoff drive.  The game was played at Campolindo on November 14.

The Cougars did not have their starting junior kicker Matt Blair, who was out due to illness. Freshmen kicker Seppi Ortman was called up to fill the spot.

According to head coach Kevin Macy, the news about Blair came late. “Hopefully he will be cleared to play next week. We did not hear about this until Thursday,” he said.

According to Ortman, on the opening kickoff, the only words going through his head were “Don’t screw up.”

Ortman didn’t, and the Cougars led the Warriors 21-7 at the end of the 1st quarter.

According to senior running back and defensive back Connor McNally, it was important to start the game with a lead. “We had to set the tempo. It was really great that we got off to a good start. I hope this is going to propel us through the season,” he said.

With 1 second left in the 2nd quarter, Ortman converted a field goal attempt, his first in a varsity football game. Ortman finished with 7 extra point conversions, and the field goal.

Macy was proud of Ortman’s performance. “He was tremendous with all of his kickoffs. He was solid with all of the extra points. He did a great job,” he said.

McNally was also impressed. “Seppi is a freshman kicker. It was a huge roll for him as a freshman. It was a big mental challenge for him, and he did great,” he said.

With the score 38-7 in favor of the Cougars, many of the backup players were put into the game.

“We knew they were a low seed. We brought up a lot of kids for the playoffs. The tricky thing was to see if we could get all of the backups and new kids from JV [junior varsity] and freshmen into the game. We had to get off to a quick start, and to try to free up the complete 2nd half to get all of the backups into the game, because after tonight, they will not be able to see the field for what we have coming up,” Macy said.

Campolindo scored its final touchdown with 4:48 in the 3rd quarter, making the score 52-14.

Ygnacio Valley head coach Phillip Puentes believes the future is bright for his team. “We are a young football team. This is the first time in 4 years that they have been here [in an NCS playoff game]. A lot of these kids that played tonight were sophomores and juniors. They got experience to play in the playoffs, and to see what it is like, especially when you are playing a team like Campo. You cannot make mistakes, because they will capitalize on everything,” he said.

According to McNally, 52 points shows that playoff opponents will have a tough time crafting a defensive scheme that will stop the Cougars. “We have a lot of weapons. We use them as much as we can,” he said.

The Cougars will host Cardinal Newman in the second round of the NCS playoffs on November 21.