Junior running back Dominic Pennucci ran for 87 yards on just five carries and had touchdown runs of 36 and 11 yards in the Canyon Cowboys 49-12 opening game win over the Morningside Monarchs Thursday night at Harry Welch Stadium.
The game was televised by SCVTV and can be seen on the channel all week long as well as SCVTV.com.
Cade Apsay, in his first varsity start at quarterback, completed 11-of-16 passes for 212 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. The junior hit Brenden Stach on a hitch-and-go for a 50-yard scoring strike.
But the word to describe the first three series by both teams was sloppy. The Cowboys turned the ball over twice in those first three possessions.
But once the scoreless first quarter was in the books, the Cowboys turned it on in the second quarter. Two touchdown runs by Apsay and one each by Pennucci and Daniel Castro gave the Cowboys a 28-0 halftime lead.
Two of those touchdown runs were set up by Zach Cuha interceptions. The junior free safety returned a third interception 40 yards for a touchdown later in the fourth quarter. His three interceptions in the game tied a Canyon record.
Wide receiver Drew Wolitarsky caught five passes for 61 yards. He needs just 552 yards receiving to break Steve Smith’s (Taft) California state career yardage mark.
A tense moment came on the kickoff to start the third quarter. With the Cowboys kicking, Morningside’s Ty Hines sprinted into the oncoming Canyon players to block. He made helmet-to-helmet contact with a Canyon player, causing his body to go limp and flop to the ground. He lay motionless for over 20 minutes as 9-1-1 was called.
A text received from Canyon head coach Rich Gutierrez said Hines was diagnosed with a mild concussion and was released a short time later.
The Monarchs were led by senior running back Dana Dodson who carried the ball 17 times for 113 yards. Quarterback Greg Adams was 9-of-18 for 150 yards, two touchdowns and the three interceptions to Cuha.
Canyon will next host Clovis West of Fresno on Friday, August 31.
In other Foothill League action Thursday night, the Saugus Centurions defeated Calabasas 18-15 at College of the Canyons.