Canyon senior Sam Nguyen runs the ball in the season opener against Crespi at Harry Welch Stadium Friday night. Cory Rubin/The Signal

Canyon can’t get going against Crespi

By Nate Graham
For The Signal

A new chapter began in the storied history of Canyon football on Friday night. A program that has not seen a winning season in six years hoped to turn the page with new head coach Joe Maiale.

Accompanied by his brother and defensive coordinator, George Maiale, the Cowboys sideline was buzzing at kickoff. The hope that accompanied their new head coach quickly faded and was nearly abysmal at the end of their 37-3 defeat. 

“It’s tough going out and losing like we did in game one,” said Head Coach Joe Maiale. “We just need to adjust on both sides of the ball and we need to execute like we know how to.”

A blown coverage from the Cowboys on one of Crespi’s first drives of the game resulted in an untouched 76-yard passing touchdown. 

Canyon senior quarterback Aydyn Litz runs the ball in the season opener against Crespi at Harry Welch Stadium Friday night. Cory Rubin/The Signal

It was a common theme that plagued the Cowboys throughout the game: poor tackling and poor offensive execution.

“I think (quarterback) Aydyn Litz made some good checks and some good reads, but we just need to execute. At times our execution was good, but it was just too inconsistent and you need to execute consistently to win ballgames,” said Head Coach Maiale.

A dropped pass by the offense led to an interception on what was a promising drive by the Cowboys and poor Canyon tackling resulted in a walk-in touchdown for Crespi, leaving the Cowboys with a seemingly insurmountable 30-0 halftime deficit.  

The second half showed some promise for the Cowboys as a beautiful touch pass by senior quarterback Aydyn Litz fell right into the hands of sophomore receiver Colin Figueroa. Not much would be done after this as Canyon was unable to score on the drive.

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Canyon’s defensive woes continued in the second half as Crespi running back Michael Shirley broke off a 45-yard rushing touchdown on his first touch of the half. 

“Missed tackles and missed assignments,” said defensive coordinator George Maiale. “I spoke to the defense about that a lot after the game and we just can’t do that. The excuse of us being young needs to go away at some point and we just need to regroup.”

The Canyon Cowboys will look to get their first win under their new head coach as they go on the road to take on San Fernando High School on Aug. 29 at 7 p.m.

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