Castaic football Swiss Army knife Paul Lotz plays all over the field for the Coyotes. Lotz exploded as a running back in Thursday’s non-league finale, a home win over the Eastside Lions.
Lotz carried the ball nine times for 111 yards with two rushing TDs, all in the first half as Castaic dominated Eastside, 54-12, at Canyon High School.
“It was a blast,” Lotz said. “Our run game was great today. So, it was just so fun to be able to be with these guys and just do what we do.”
The Coyote defense was again sharp and ready for action, holding the Lions offense to under 50 passing yards. Senior Lucas Milan added a pair of first-half interceptions for Castaic.
Castaic quarterback Tyler Lewis finished the day 12-for-15 with 229 yards and three touchdowns.
The Coyotes (3-1) separated themselves quickly with one big pickup after another.
Lewis hit his leading receiver Milan for a 50-yard touchdown in the third quarter. Milan bobbled the throw but managed to reel in it and break free for the score.
Milan finished with four catches for 108 yards.
The Castaic gunslinger also hit a wide-open Gage Gibson for a 73-yard strike in the second quarter.
Eastside (1-2) found some luck in the Power-I formation, running the ball right down the Coyotes’ throat. Lions running back Quentrell Allen never found the end zone but had a strong day on the ground with 18 carries for 146 yards.
The Lions didn’t throw a pass in the second and third quarters, riding the momentum of the power running. Quarterback Keyron Scott racked up his second and third completions in the fourth quarter, hitting senior Michael Gomez for the late score.
Scott also added a rushing TD early in the game.
Lotz’s day was called early but Castaic’s running back depth was on full display for the Coyote faithful attending the school’s homecoming game.
Senior running back Jacob Pimentel also added 125 yards, including a 70-yard rush in the second half.
Monty Coleman also got on the board and tallied 32 yards.
“I can’t speak highly enough of (Pimentel) and Monty,” Lotz said. “They make everyone’s job so much easier. And our boys up front, it helps when you have a line that can block and help you get touchdowns, they’re so good.”
Castaic first-year head coach Sirr Guy Shakir was proud of his running backs on Thursday, including the swing-man Lotz.
“He’s versatile, super versatile,” Shakir said. “He could play numerous positions on the field. We just want to give him the ball as much as possible. On top of all of that, he’s a good kid.”
Shakir’s team now holds three wins to their name heading into league play, as well as a new program record in points scored.
“Our coaches this year have given us the best opportunity to win and our guys have just done the best job,” Lotz said. “We’re having a blast. We’re hoping to keep this streak going and push on to Foothill League and win a couple more games.”
The team is feeling great but the players know what lies ahead with Foothill League play beginning next week starting with the 2022 CIF runner-up Golden Valley Grizzlies.
“We got to go watch the film tonight and kind of see what we need to clean up and get ready because, man, Golden Valley is really good,” Shakir said. “We’re gonna have to play really, really well to compete with them.”
Eastside will look to regroup next Friday when the team heads into Golden League play against Lancaster at 7 p.m.
Castaic will return to its home field at Valencia High School to face the Grizzlies on Thursday at 7 p.m.
“We’re feeling great,” Lotz said. “We still got a bunch more work to do. We know we’re playing great teams. So, we have a challenge ahead of us, but we face challenges and we overcome them.”