EC Preps



By Adam Paul

Spring Valley – Facing a team twice in a season and beating them twice in a season is really hard to do but that was what the Steele Canyon Cougars did as they were able to defeat the visiting Mira Mesa Marauders. The Cougars had previously beaten Mira Mesa 52-26 back in September as part of their homecoming.

The #10 Mira Mesa Marauders got the party started early as junior quarterback Noah Tumblin was able to march the Marauders down the field. He was able to use his athleticism and escape the Cougars defense on a 2-10 play when he scrambled all the way down to the Cougar 6-yard line for 34 yards. A couple of plays later he would score on a 8-yard run to make it 6-0 as the two point conversion was no good.

Being down right away didn’t discourage the Cougars as senior quarterback Thomas Fishburne worked his magic along with some nice runs by Kenneth Watson. One of the big plays on the drive was a 12-yard pass from Fishburne to Jordan Anderson which set up a 12-yard scramble to the house by Fishburne which put the Cougars up 7-6.

Having taken the one point lead the defense for the Cougars knew they had to get into the game. After the long kickoff return by the Marauders the defense for the Cougars stepped up. Mira Mesa was able to work their way to the 34 of Steele Canyon before being stalled and facing a fourth and two situation. Instead of punting they decided to go for it and it would backfire as Fishburne would come up and make the big stop on Tumblin to force a turnover on downs. This was the third big play in a row on the drive that Fishburne made the play from his strong safety position.

So now with the ball back the Cougars moved it to their 46-yard line and on the very next play Fishburne was able to find Anderson for the pass and he just ran it all the way to the house for the score to make it 14-6.

The defense again for the Cougars came up big and were able to force another turnover on downs and get the ball back at their own 17-yardline. The big play came when Watson took the handoff and burst his way through for a gain of 24-yards all the way down to the Marauder 41-yardline. A couple plays later Fishburne was able to find Perry Steele for the connection to house to extend the lead 21-6 with about 7 minutes left in the half.

The Marauders on the very next drive would march down and eventually score on a Artyom Harr 7-yard run and with the 2-point conversion pull within 21-14.

However the momentum would be in their court temporarily as the Cougars behind Fishburne would mix up the passing and running to get all the way down to the 9-yardline of Mira Mesa. With about :25 seconds left before the half, Fishburne would call his own number as he kept it and was able to run it in for a 9-yard score to make it 28-14 at the break.

The second half started very slowly on offensively as both team’s defenses stepped up and stalled each other on their first possessions. The Cougars on their second possession of the second half would again stall and they would have to punt.

With just under eight minutes in the third quarter the Marauders received the ball back at their own 4-yard line. After being stuffed the first couple of times, Tumblin called his own number and raced all the way to the 27-yardline which gave Mira Mesa a new set of downs. The very next play was what looked to be an incomplete pass but the officials threw a flag that looked to be questionable but nonetheless the ball would be put at midfield after the penalty.

Three plays later after a big pass play all the way down the Cougar 13-yardline, Tumblin once again would call his own number and score. Mira Mesa went for two and it would be good as Tumblin pulled a Tim Tebow with a nice run and jump pass to Malachi Vanta to make it 28-22.

On the very next possession the Cougars would work their way to the Mira Mesa 37-yardline and on the very next play Watson took the handoff and was on his way to the house for the score and he would also get the 2-point conversion to extend the lead 36-22.

The two score lead would hold as the Cougars defense would swarm all over the Marauders offense.



PIVOTAL PLAY: Leading 7-6 in the first quarter the Cougars defense made three big plays as Thomas Fishburne came up and stuffed Mira Mesa on three consecutive plays to force a turnover on downs.

KEY STATS: The ground game for Steele Canyon ran for 213 totals yards on the night.

QUOTABLE I: “After the two big stops, I was running up and down the sidelines telling my teams we aren’t going to lose.” Said Fishburne

QUOTABLE II: “It feels great to win a playoff game as it was my sophomore year when we last won one and there are only 4 or 5 of us on the team from that time.” Said Fishburne

NOTES: On the night passing wise Thomas Fishburne would finish with 205 yards on 10 of 15 and 3 scoring strikes. Kenneth Watson on the night garnered 115 yards and a score on the ground. Perry Steele caught 5 balls for 108 yards and a score while Anderson hauled in 3 balls for 80 yards and 2 scores. On the defensive side Darin Walton amassed 3 quarterback sacks. For the Marauders, Noah Tumblin ran for 98 yards on 14 carries and threw for 88 on 11 of 19.

With the victory the Cougars will now travel next week to take on the #2 seed Bishop’s.


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