Canyon football (3-3, 1-1) earned its first Foothill League win in five years after a 17-3 win at home over Castaic (1-6, 0-3) on Friday.
Canyon was led by running back Ganisten Turner. The Cowboy back rushed 18 times for 104 yards to go along with a TD.
Running back Evan Watts got the scoring started with a 1-yard run on the Cowboys’ second drive.
Quarterback Diego Olujich hit Navin Srinivasin for a big 35-yard gain to set up the score.
The two backs have given Canyon an edge this season, having a speedy and shifty back, while Watts, a sophomore, is a big power back.
“The team feels great,” said Turner. “We came off a three-game losing streak on top of that 22-league game losing streak. Everybody’s hyped but there still needs to be more improvement. We need to be ready for Golden Valley.”
Kicker Zach Figueroa made it 10-0 in the second quarter with a 22-yard field goal.
Castaic had one trip inside the red zone but came up empty.
Cowboys’ defensive back Eyezik Ruppert intercepted Coyotes quarterback Dominic Espinoza on the 1-yard line. It was a pivotal play, keeping Castaic scoreless before the half.
Penalties would hurt both teams throughout the game.
The Coyotes registered nine penalties in the first half. The mishaps consistently cost Castaic crucial yards.
Turner opened up the third quarter with a bang, hitting a big 52-yard rush. Turner would cap off the drive with a 6-yard score to make it a three-score game.
Nelson Morales would be the sole scorer for Castaic after the kicker hit a 25-field goal.
Castaic running back Manny Ortiz was a standout for the team in the loss. The junior back finished just under 100 all-purpose yards on the night with strong rushes and receptions.
The Coyotes got close a handful of times but just couldn’t push the ball into the end zone.
Near interceptions, fumbles off bad snaps and turnovers on downs kept killing Castaic, which punched out its second lowest scoring output.
Canyon’s defense finished the night with a pair of sacks and a red zone interception. The team had about a dozen deflected passes on top of great tackling.
For Canyon head coach and alumnus Ken Holsenbeck, the win means a lot, but he’s aiming for more than just one league win.
“I’m happy to get one but I’m hoping to get more than one,” said Holsenbeck. “But let’s hope we can put something together here and give our competitors a run for their money.”
Turner wants to see his offense spark earlier in upcoming games and knows they can be dangerous if they do so.
“The line needs to start off and play their hearts out. That’s all I need,” said Turner.
Canyon will return home as visitors when they play Golden Valley on Friday, Oct. 7.
Castaic will head into the bye week and look to get a little healthier and craftier for Saugus in two weeks.
“Let’s actually put it together now,” said Holsenbeck. “Let’s not be satisfied with just getting one win. We have to make sure we build upon this and carry it over into next week.”