East County Sports

Cougars post major comeback on Knights

Major Givens carries against San Marcos on Friday night.



EastCountySports.com staff report


SAN MARCOS —- The Steele Canyon Cougars rallied in the second half from a 23-7 deficit against the San Marcos Knights on Friday night to claim their first victory of the season, 29-23.

Cougar running back Major Givens rushed for 245 yards three touchdowns, including two in the final 10 minutes.

Steele won the game between two solid programs, as both entered winless in two starts.

Despite the deficit, Steele Canyon didn’t necessarily deviate from their star runner carrying the ball. Givens carried the ball 29 times in the contest.

Givens’ late-game heroics saw him rush up the middle and out of the arms of a gang of defenders for a 31-yard score. However, the game-tying, 2-point conversion failed, leaving the guests trailing, 23-21.

However, on their next possession, on a very similar play, Givens charged down the middle for a 27-yard run to the Knight 3.

Two plays later, Givens waltzed in for the final three yards and the winning touchdown.

Jacob Manzo ran in a two-point conversion for the six-point edge.

The game-winning drive started at the Cougars’ own three-yard line and Givens had a 25-yard run to take the ball out to midfield.

The Knights took the lead on an 8-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter for a 7-0 edge.

Givens tied the game at 7-all later in the quarter with his first score – a 3-yard run.

The Cougars’ first scoring drive started on the San Marcos side of the field after Givens returned the kickoff¬† 35 yards.

The big play came when Nathaniel Gillis had a 45-yard gain on a pass from Matthew Barton, which took the ball down to the 3.

The Knights scored on a 5-yard touchdown pass to take a 14-7 lead at halftime.

The Cougars outgained the Knights 349-295.

Steele Canyon’s line paved the way for Givens, led by Logan Hicks, Nathan Manzo, Gabriel Morales, Jayden Manley, and Reagan Teague.

The Knights extended that lead with 10 points in the third quarter to lead 23-7.

Eric King scored a 1-yard touchdown run and the Cougars scored the two-point conversation on a King pass to Keanu Pettiford to cut into the lead and make it a 23-15 lead. King also completed 4-of-5 passes in split duty and had 74 yards of total offense.

A key play on the ensuing kickoff when masterful kicker David Martinez booted a swift knuckler that was too hot to handle by a Knight and ended up bouncing off the player, onto the turf, then up into the arms of Steele junior C.J. Norris at the San Marcos 31.

Steele Canyon’s Adrien Chargualaf led the defense with seven tackles. He also had a key 39-yard punt return to the San Marcos 16 early in the fourth quarter to help set up King’s scoring run.

Spencer Campillo added six tackles for the Cougars.

Gillis had a pass breakup on a San Marcos end zone try with just over two minutes left in the game, as the Knights drove into the red zone late, only to have the Cougars deny them the end zone.

The Cougars will try their luck next Friday against another winless giant, St. Augustine (0-3).


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