The Canyon High Cowboys struggled to keep their heads above water on Friday against the Oxnard Yellowjackets.
Coming off of a win against the Burbank Bulldogs, the Cowboys were unable to add another win to their record in a 28-14 loss at home.
The two teams played a game of defensive chess for the first half stopping each other just yards shy of the end zone on multiple drives.
Starting the third quarter scoreless on both sides, the Yellowjackets pinpointed the Achilles heel of Canyon High in their first drive out of the locker room.
The arrow that struck Canyon’s heel came in the form of Oxnard running back, Danny Smith.
Running for 254 yards, Smith put the offense on his back and ran into the end zone three times throughout the game.
Down 21 points at the start of the fourth quarter Canyon felt the fire under their feet and relied on their passing game and starting quarterback Shawn Gallagher.
In a last-ditch effort to save the game, Gallagher threw a 23-yard pass to Roland Hardson and a 21-yarder to Luke Stuart, bringing the Cowboys within seven points.
Gallagher ended the game with 113 passing yards and 99 rushing.
Yet it was Smith’s unstoppable running who punched in a final run into the end zone with 43 seconds left in the game, destroying any last hopes for Canyon.
After the game, Head Coach Gutierrez described the downswing in the second half.
“I like that we kind of woke up a little bit. I think we struggled offensively initially,” said Gutierrez. He expressed his disappointment in not being able to finish stronger and attributed the overall loss to missed opportunities and penalties, of which there were plenty.
The Cowboy’s head coach sees this as an opportunity to motivate the team to work harder and build up their stamina.
The Cowboys fall to 1-2 as they travel to Highland High School next Friday, Sept. 15.