West Ranch football’s comeback on Friday night was dramatic in more ways than one.
It was dramatic in terms of the score, which Woodrow Wilson of Long Beach had the advantage in, 35-21, at halftime.
On the other side of the break, the Wildcats held the Bruins to 21 points while scoring 36 of their own for the 57-56 win and a trip to the CIF-Southern Section Division 7 semifinals.
Wilson shut down the ground game (Jackson Reyes led all rushers with 44 yards), forcing the Cats to rely on their receiving corps for touchdowns. The receivers came through, with three of them scoring two touchdowns apiece.
Reyes had two catches for 71 yards and two touchdowns, Zach Van Bennekum had eight catches for 68 yards and two touchdowns and Nicholas Kohl hauled in eight passes for 77 yards and two touchdowns.
Brandon Wyre helped shoulder the load with seven receptions for 77 yards and one touchdown.
Walker Eget threw all seven touchdowns, matching his season-best touchdown total from Oct. 18 when he threw seven touchdowns in a 53-20 win over Saugus.
“(Walker) is an incredible young man and he’s only a junior and he’s only going to get better, but the poise that he showed in the face of adversity is a true champion,” said coach Chris Varner after the game.
The Wildcats completed their dramatic comeback in a dramatic setting. The game was the first varsity sporting event to be held in the Santa Clarita Valley since the events that happened at Saugus High School, which had unfolded just the day before.
“I told the kids that at the end of the day that it’s a little dumb game, but if we can bring a little bit of hope in this time of darkness, then we need to do that and help this community,” Varner said.
West Ranch is scheduled to play Temecula Valley in the CIF-SS Division 7 semifinals on Friday at Temecula Valley High School. Kickoff time is to be announced.
Hart has hope for next season
The Indians struggled in their first-ever game against San Juan Hills on Friday night in the CIF-Southern Section Division 4 quarterfinals.
Part of it was due to the absence of 6-foot-5, 310-pound offensive lineman Tommy Adame, who was injured on the first drive. It was Adame’s last game for Hart, since he’s a senior, but the Indians will be returning plenty of talent to next year’s roster.
Junior running back Ryan Rossi had worked his way into a few plays this season and picked up 60 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. Fellow junior Titus Tucker has played a few games at running back, but only has one carry for five yards, according to MaxPreps.com.
Tucker put in a little time on defense this season, logging three tackles, but the biggest returner on defense looks to be Dylan Vradenburg. The junior was second on the team in terms of total tackles with 92 and had a team-high six sacks.
Ryan Tomaszewski and Luke Madison will likely lead the receiving corps. Tomaszewski had 34 receptions for 468 yards and one touchdown — the second-highest yardage on the team. Madison had 13 catches for 199 yards and three touchdowns.