Two fourth-down gambles and a trio of turnovers buried Canterbury in a home opening loss to Spring Hill Bishop McLaughlin 17-0 Friday night.
A wet field and a wet football made the going tough through much of the first half. Neither Canterbury’s quarterback Danny Cunningham nor Bishop McLaughlin’s signal caller Gilbert Estien could engineer much offense.
The decisive play of the first half came on a fake punt when Cunningham took the snap in front of the punter and tried to throw a surprise pass. But the pass was intercepted, giving the Hurricanes prime field position with just :08 left on the clock.
Kicker Nick Savolidis, who had missed earlier from 30 yards, nailed a 35-yard field goal as time expired for a 3-0 lead.
Cougar’s head coach Derrick Crudup was disappointed by the sloppy play. “We prepared with wet ball drills but not getting to play the last two weeks really hurt our preparations.”
It was a third quarter fumble that sealed Canterbury’s fate. With the ball at the Cougars’ 19-yard line, Hurricane quarterback Estien rolled out around the left end and scampered into the end zone.
“Our defense played great but we’ve got to do more to prepare on the offensive side of things,” said Cougar quarterback Danny Cunningham.
The Cougars defense recorded four sacks and a fumble recovery. The effort gave Crudup some hope. “Our defense really stayed with it all night, now we’ve just got to get our offense together.”
Bishop McLaughlin ended the scoring when running back Luis Valentin rumbled into the Cougars’ end zone with 9:16 left in the game.
BM 0 | 3 | 7 | 7 — 17
C 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 — 0
BM: Nick Savolidis 35 field goal
BM: Gilbert Estien 19 run (Savolidis kick)
BM: Luis Valentin 7 run (Savolidis kick)
Rushing — Bishop McLaughlin, Luis Valentin 12-54, Joe Mastrino 2-18, Julio Herrara 1- -6, Gilbert Estien 13 – (-2); Canterbury, Jalen Ellis 24-93, Danny Cunningham 7-17, Brendan Fritz 4-14, Michael Morell 4-19, Thomas O’Sullivan 1-7.
Passing — Bishop McLaughlin, Estien 8-14-0 73; Cunningham 4-13-1 34.
Receiving — Bishop McLaughlin, Herrara 4-53, Mastrino 2 – (-13), Caden Corrao 1-24, Chris Cigarran 1-9; Canterbury, Ellis 3-36, Fritz 1- (-2).