By Matt Lechuga
For The Signal
The West Ranch football coaching staff made sure there was no chance for a trap game Friday night as the Wildcats handled Canyon, 35-8 at Valencia High School to keep their perfect Foothill League record intact.
With a six-game winning streak that includes wins over Valencia and Golden Valley and a big game against Saugus next week, the Wildcats (7-1, 3-0) could have potentially overlooked a Canyon team that had been struggling to get the ball into the endzone over the last few weeks.
But Senior running back Dylan Roof put those thoughts to rest quickly in the first quarter, scoring on runs of 39 and 32 yards to give West Ranch a 14-0 lead it never looked back from.
Roof had an efficient night, finishing the game with 127 yards on eight carries and two scores.
“I made sure we set goals this week to keep them focused,” said Wildcats head coach Chris Varner. “As kids, it’s hard for them not to look forward so we just had to stay centered and focused so we don’t look past (Canyon) because this certainly could have been a trap game. So, we just wanted to execute, and I thought we did some good things.”
The Wildcats’ second quarter looked much like the first, moving the ball methodically down the field using a mix of their potent rushing and passing attacks to push their lead to 28-0 going into the half. The first score came when Junior quarterback Ryan Staub hit senior receiver Dylan Cotti on a quick pass that Cotti took 19 yards to the end zone and finished with a dive to the pylon. The second came on a 1-yard touchdown rush from Adrian Salvador that was set up by a 28-yard run from Ike Sibal on the previous play.
It was all positive yardage for the Wildcats as they didn’t have a negative play until a false start late in the third quarter when they started cycling in some of the second unit.
“You know, it’s really important to see that they have athletes on that side of the field and they can play catch, they can run the ball, so no matter who you’re playing against, you can’t underestimate them because they can come out and upset you,” said Roof. “Coach is always getting us hyped throughout the week to not underestimate anyone which was so vital this week.”
West Ranch added its final score in the third quarter when Staub hit Maverick Diaz on a 49-yard post route where Diaz slipped the corner’s tackle and took it the rest of the way untouched.
Staub finished the game with three completions, two for touchdowns, for 84 yards.
The lone bright spot for Canyon came in the fourth quarter when Senior quarterback Landon Naasz hit Junior receiver Kaleb Alexander for a 21-yard touchdown pass. Running back Corbett McDaniel ran in the 2-point conversion to make the final score 35-8.
McDaniel was a workhorse for the Cowboys, carrying the ball 24 times for 92 yards.
The Wildcats can now finally turn their sights to the showdown with Saugus next Friday while Canyon will continue its search for its first Foothill League win against Hart.