East County Sports

Patriots hold on to bring home victory




EastCountySports.com staff report


EL SOBRANTE – The Christian Patriots made the seven-and-a-half hour trip to Contra Costa County and were able to bring home a 23-16 victory after defeating host De Anza High on Friday.

The story here was that Christian led 23-0 at halftime.

“I was really proud of our intensity and effort in the first half,” Christian assistant coach Dave Beezer said.We need to play all 48 minutes, but we can build on what we did tonight.”

Senior Gabe Stine had a 43-yard touchdown run in the first quarter for a 7-0 lead.

The Christian defense recorded an interception in the first quarter.

The Patriots had big gains in the contest to set up scores, including a 40-yard pass from junior quarterback Gabe Krug to senior Michael Pohle, a 44-yard run from senior Christian Salacup, and a 31-yard delayed keeper by Krug.

Krug and Co. got great play up front from junior linemen Nathan Wells, Eric Markowicz and Cole Bryant.

“A few names I’d like to throw out there offensively were Isiah Owens and Christian Salacup, Krug said. “The biggest keys on grabbing the ‘W’ was focus, discipline, and execution.

“We really didn’t make any adjustments anywhere besides just focusing more throughout our practices this week and focusing on our assignments.

Patriot senior receiver Todd Beezer had a 35-yard reception from Krug right before the end of the half which led to a field goal, giving Christian the big halftime lead.

“I thought Gabe had an outstanding night,” Todd Beezer said. “He was great under pressure and seemed confident and focused.

“I thought this game went very well, we came out with a lot of intensity and were ready to play.”

Still, De Anza had a good comeback in the second half.

“De Anza was a good team with a lot of players who could ball,” Krug said. “I believe we played better against De Anza than we did against Santa Fe Christian (in a home loss last week) because we came with a better game plan and came more prepared.”

Christian will next face Soldotna, a multiple-time state champion from Alaska and current No. 1 team in the state.

“They have great size and are a very good football program,” Beezer said.

Soldotna (2-0) defeated South, 53-20, on Saturday in Anchorage in a nonconference matchup of two of the top-ranked teams in the state. The Stars have won 11-straight games.

The Stars came into the game ranked No. 1 in Division II in the Alaska Football Coaches Association poll, while the Wolverines were No. 2 in the Division I rankings.

The game was originally scheduled for Friday in Soldotna, but a wildfire forced the game to move to Anchorage.

That worked out just fine for the Stars because they already had to be in Anchorage anyway on Sunday to fly to San Diego, where they will take on Christian on Friday at 6 p.m. at Valley Stadium.

Soldotna head coach Galen Brantley Jr. said he was happy to get in Saturday’s game because he did not want to travel to Southern California with just one game played.

Whether or not the change in preparation will have any factor in the Stars’ steadiness will be seen on Friday but the team will have arrived in plenty of time to enjoy the trip, as well as, the practices leading up to the game.

“This week, we need to stay focused in order to win,” Todd Beezer said. “Soldotna looks well-coached and disciplined.”

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