TUALATIN – Blanchet Catholic rallied for a 34-12 victory on Friday night.
Horizon Christian took advantage of a slow start by Blanchet to take a 12-0 lead by the 2:15 mark of the first quarter
However, Blanchet Catholic (1-0) used two second-quarter turnovers to pick up some momentum entering halftime down 12-7. Strong play by Denver Bogat and freshman RJ Veliz contributed to the surge in the second frame.
Bogat scored two of his three touchdowns and Alex McCarthur recovered a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown in the second half and the defense kept the board in the second half. Kevin McCarthy sealed the win with a 33-yard run with 3:03 left in the game.
“They know us pretty well over there at Horizon (Christian), they know our schemes,” said Cavaliers coach Justin Hubbard. “It was huge. Our defense started to make some plays and then we made some offensive adjustments and we were able to start moving the football.”
Seeking revenge for ending their season in the first round of the OSAA 3A playoffs last year, the Hawks took advantage of a slow start by Blanchet Catholic for a 12-0 lead by the 2:18 mark of the first quarter.
“We were shell-shocked there at the beginning,” said RJ Veliz, who was making his varsity debut as a freshman. “We weren’t doing our own jobs; we just needed to stick to our own game plan.”
But, a crucial interception by Nate Cantonwine, a fumble recovery on the next defensive series by the Cavs and a 21-yard run by Bogat settled Blanchet in the second quarter.
Bogat would cap his 21-yard run with a 23-yard touchdown drive 4:43 left in the second, before time ran out of a possible lead-taking score that left Blanchet down 12-7 at halftime.
Bogat proved valuable for the Cavaliers as he scored the next two touchdowns en route to a 143-yard game with Blanchet leading 21-12.
“Our line settled down and made some gaps and I definitely think it’s a team effort (tonight),” Bogat said.
With the defense playing stout on the gridiron that night, the iron in the Cavs amour strengthen; prohibiting the Horizon offense to get any kind of rhythm that they had in the first quarter.
“It was the key of the turning around in the game,” Bogat said. “That interception gave us some fire and we ran with it and took the game.”
Despite fumbling it in the end zone on their third possession of the second half, offensive lineman Alex McCarthur recovered it in the end zone. That was followed by a Kevin McCarthy 34-yard scamper to stretch the lead beyond reach at 34-12 with under four minutes to play.
Veliz added an interception to his resume at the end of the game as he reflects on his experience.
“It feels pretty crazy,” he said. “It’s a good outcome and I’m glad me and my team pulled off the victory.”
But their job aren’t done just yet. They must improve on something’s entering the second week.
“Penalties were a huge factor,” said Hubbard. “That kept a couple of their drives alive. It kept their first drive alive, through penalties. Mental mistakes. Our offensive line. We have to sure something’s up, they brought some pressure on us. That’s a tough defense to start with; we got a couple new faces there. But we’ll sure that up.”