The San Lorenzo Valley High varsity football team’s resurgent 2014 season came to an end on the south side of Monterey Bay last Friday, as the Pacific Grove High Breakers rode a second-half offensive onslaught to a 37-13 final score over the Cougars in the first round of the Central Coast Section playoffs.
In their first appearance in CCS since 2010, the Cougar offense — despite maintaining consistent pressure — was largely unable to break through against the Breaker defense, as only junior running back Brighton Hart was able to run with the ball for more than 30 yards — on either passing or rushing yards.
Hart, in only his second game back from injury, scored both of SLV’s two touchdowns for the night — his first a 65-yard run to open the scoring in the first quarter. For the game, he had nine carries rushing for 140 yards, as well as five receptions for 111 yards.
Senior quarterback Isaac Newberry had a strong night as well, going 16-for-37 and passing for 227 yards in his final game in a Cougar uniform.
Senior running back Nate Gentry — one of the main drivers of the Cougar offense for much of the season — was hit hard on a play in the second quarter and wasn’t able to return to the field until midway through the second half.
The Cougar defense was able to keep the game close for most of the game, as it wasn’t until the fourth quarter that the Breakers — then holding a 23-13 lead — scored a pair of unanswered touchdowns to put the game away.
In particular, the Cougars were unable to solve Breakers running back Jason Leach. Leach, who led all of CCS in rushing this season, had 16 carries and rushed for 250 yards, scoring three touchdowns. He also had a pair of receptions for 34 yards and another touchdown.
According to SLVHS Athletics Director Mark Mercer, the Cougars have been unable to advance past the first round of CCS since the 2003 season.
Despite the early CCS exit, the Cougars’ season was a strong return to form, and many key players will likely return in 2015.
Head Coach Dave Poetzinger was unable to be reached for comment before the Press-Banner’s deadline.