The Aragon varsity football team bounced back from the previous week’s loss at MenloAtherton with a 42-7 defeat of the Half Moon Bay Cougars last Friday afternoon. This win improves the Dons’ record to 1-1 in PALs and 5-1 overall.
The key to victory for the Dons was the lethal combination of junior quarterback Nat Blood and senior wide receiver Aldo Severson. Blood completed 11 of 18 passes for 178 yards and four touchdowns. Severson caught five of those passes, three of them for touchdowns.
The Dons got off to a difficult start, with a score of 0-0 after the first quarter. During the first quarter, the Dons only gained 10 yards of total offense.
Head coach Steve Sell knew before Friday’s game that it would be difficult playing an afternoon game after five straight night games. Says Sell, “I was worried about it. That first afternoon game is always worrisome.”
After the rough first quarter, the Dons’ offense picked up in the second quarter with three touchdowns. The offense was helped significantly by some great defensive turnovers. Senior David Menoa made a crucial fumble recovery which led to a 30 yard catch and run by Severson for the Dons’ second touchdown.
Says Blood, “We realized that we made mistakes in the first quarter, and we were able to bounce back first of all from last week, and second of all from that first quarter.”
This passing breakthrough is a relatively new strategy for the Dons. Prior to the last few games, they have relied heavily on their running attack. However, the running game still succeeded against Half Moon Bay, with both senior Marcel Jackson and junior Jordon Crisologo rushing for touchdowns.
Says Sell, “We have unique players. [I] fight the internal battle of sticking to our core offense or shaping the offense around the great athletes we have.”
Coming into last Friday’s game, many Dons believed that the running game was the strength of the team. Among them was senior kick returner and running back J.D. Elzie, who says, “Our strength is definitely our speed and explosiveness.”
Junior cornerback Daniel Alas said, “Our main weakness is probably our tackling. We miss too many tackles. We need to finish better.”
This year, the Dons are back in the Bay division after spending last year in the lower-level Ocean division. Since they tied with Half Moon Bay for the lead in the Ocean last year, both teams moved up to the Bay division for this season. In the 2010-2011 season, the Dons were last in the Bay division and finished with a division worst of 4-6.
Half Moon Bay drops to 0-1 PAL Bay and 1-5 overall. Last year they beat Aragon 21-20 in a close game at Aragon. Half Moon Bay also moved up to the Bay Division for this season after going (5-0) in divisional games last season and (6-5) overall.
On Friday, the Dons will go to Sacred Heart Preparatory to take on the Gators, who are currently 2-0 in PALs and 6-0 overall. The Gators have shut out their last four opponents and have allowed only 9 points this season.
Sell says, “We have to execute better. We have to block better. We have to do everything better to score against Sacred Heart Prep.”
The Dons return home on Oct. 26 to face division foe Terra Nova, followed by a road game at Burlingame before the homecoming game on Nov. 9.
Concludes Sell, “There’s nothing but tough teams ahead of us.”