January in August worked great for Cave Creek Cactus Shadows. Sean January that is.
The junior linebacker keyed the defense with two stops for losses in the backfield, two sacks and forced a fumble that Chris Manship recovered for a touchdown as the Falcons cruised to a season-opening 55-6 win over Glendale Raymond S. Kellis on Friday at Cactus Shadows.
“I was just thanking my line for opening those big holes,” Gorriaz said.
Falcons coach Chad DeGrenier said they’d noticed a right-handed tendency in the Cougars’ quarterback.
“We sent him a lot,” said the third-year coach. “We wanted to put pressure on the right-handed quarterback. That’s what they used to do to Phillip (Aholt).”
The senior quarterback can sympathize with Kellis’ first year in varsity action as he remembers a sophomore season without a win.
“We got it handed to us back then,” he said.
Aholt only threw 12 passes but completed three to Kyle Watkins for TD’s.
“We had an all-state receiver in Michael Moore last season but he got a lot of catches because they were double-teaming Kyle. We’re trying to get Matt Williams to take advantage of the double teams this year.”
The Falcons didn’t need to throw because they controlled the ground attack behind three touchdowns and 143 yards on 17 carries from Eric Gorriaz.
Cactus Shadows scored on its first five possession, two drives consuming a total of three plays. They scored the defensive TD before finally having a series stopped by a fumble.
The Cougars put together one successful series to find paydirt in the second quarter. Johnny Barro blocked the extra point. While Kellis doesn’t play any seniors, the Cougars didn’t give up any size to the Falcons.
“We’re not a big team but we get in there and fight,” DeGrenier said. “Kellis is already 4A Division I. We play bigger schools our first three weeks.”