Santa Clarita, Calif. - The Rustlers went on the road to play #4 ranked College of Canyons Saturday night and went up against the top ranked defense in the state.
A stout Canyons defense came into week five's match up having recorded 15 turnovers while surrendering just 30 points on the season for a state-best mark of 7.5 points per game. That spelled trouble in the first half for the Rustlers as they managed 75 yards of total offense in the first 30 minutes of play. 69 yards were sustained on the one successful looking drive the ran out of gas to start the second quarter thanks to an offensive holding call. Freshman QB Nathaniel Espinoza was at that helm for that drive and got an immediate 15 yard run for a first down to provide a little jolt of engery to the offense. The next big play of the drive came on a 35 yard strike Espinoza completed to Ahmad Dorsey to put Golden West on the Canyons 20 yard line. However, that pesky offensive holding call on the ensuing 1st down play set the Rustlers back and they couldn't find their rythym after that. The Canyons defense forced a fourth down stop to take over on downs and keep Golden West off the scoreboard.
It was more of the same in the second half until Golden West scored their first points of the game with 12 minutes in the fourth quarter off the foot of kicker Kenny Fisher who split the uprights on a 32 yard field goal. On the Rustlers next possession, they found the end zone when Sophomore QB Beau Kalbacher connected with wide out Jonathan Earl for a 26 yard touchdown for the final score of the game that resulted in the 26-9 final.
Wide out David Atencio lead the Rustler receiving corps with seven catches for 61 yards. Quarterback Kalbacher attempted 47 passes, completing 24 of those attempts for 231 yards and 1 TD.
Defensively they were led by DB Austin Kramer, LB David Aldapa, and LB Wulfe Retzlaff who all recorded five tackles a piece. They held an offensive attack from the Canyons that ranks eighth in the state at more than 480 yards per game to under 375 yards of total offense.
Golden West enters its bye week this week and will return to action next Saturday, October 13th when they travel to in district rival Orange Coast College for a 6pm kickoff at LeBard Stadium.