On Friday the North County teams kicked off their week three games with a pair of home games in Templeton and Paso Robles and with Atascadero hitting the road playing in Bakersfield.
Both home teams emerged victorious in close, highly entertaining games with the Bearcats defeating El Diamante 17-14 and the Eagles outlasting Carmel 69-61 while the Hounds fell on the road 21-7 at Stockdale.
The game of the week in the North County was the Eagles’ home opener against the Carmel Padres. Carmel is a powerhouse in the CIF’s Central Coast Section and went 12-0 last season before eventually falling to The Kings Academy in the championship game. It is a program where when you scroll down the roster last names like Mornhinweg pop up and on top of their prestige, they also returned their star quarterback and some of their top contributors from last season’s team.
The Eagles invited the premiere program to their house and gave them the royal treatment complete with an Estrella Warbirds airplane flyover during the heart of the National Anthem. It seemed Templeton had brought out everything except fireworks in their home opener until the game began and it was clear offensive coordinator Tyler Lane and junior quarterback Tyler Kaschewski were supplying the pyrotechnics.
If you are fan of defense, field position battles and punting, then this was not the game for you as the two teams combined final score reached 130 and the total yards reached four digits. It was a quarterback showdown between Kaschewski and Carmel starter Kai Raine Lee and the perfect juxtaposition of styles.
Kaschewski dominated the game on the ground scoring five touchdowns with his legs and rushing for over 280 yards while Lee threw for 425 leading the Padres lethal air attack.
“He [Kaschewski] is a stallion. He played out of his mind,” Lane said. “We came in with the plan again to split time with the guys and he kind of got rolling early and he kept us rolling and we didn’t want to make a change, he deserves every ounce of this tonight.”
Kaschewski had the Eagles rolling from the very first drive of the game and kept them going well through the game as the Eagles first and only punt came with 5:37 to go in the fourth quarter.
Kaschewski ran the ball four times on the Eagles opening drive and punctuated it with a 7-yard thunderous touchdown run.
Carmel scored its first points via a 25-yard field goal on their second possession.
The Eagles responded through the air this time as Marino D’alfonso, who finished with four catches for 157 yards and two touchdowns, went over a Padre defender and trotted into the endzone for a 56-yard score.
While the quarterback was masterful in the way, he twirled in and out of tackles, the Eagles offensive line was equally as impressive as time and time again Kaschewski would find himself into the secondary before getting touched. The big boys up front were constantly pulling around, up and through the hole, wreaking havoc and causing devastation everywhere they went.
The barrage of touchdowns started midway through the first quarter and carried through the third. Long passes, long runs even kick off return touchdowns were being scored.
At halftime Templeton was up 42-25, but just minutes into the second half the lead was down to 42-32. Templeton led the Padres 49-38, 56-38, and 63-45 but Carmel still had a chance with a minute left in the game.
A late touchdown cut the lead to only 69-61 and had the Padres recovered the onside kick they would have had at least a few shots at the endzone.
When the dust settled, Kaschewski had seven touchdowns, Templeton had 662 yards of offense, 69 points and victory over a championship-caliber team in front of the home fans.
“The kids played great,” Lane said following the game. “And coach Crow [head football coach Don Crow] has done a great job of getting the kids stronger, more physical, faster, stronger, in better shape so able to sustain it throughout the night. It was a long night though, I am ready for bed.”
Lane isn’t the only one that has been praising the strength training and discipline that Crow has brought to the program in his first year back since going 39-16 between 2004-2008 as many of the kids have also mentioned it as reported in previous articles. At 2-0 on the season and with as big a win, if not bigger, than any other team in the county, the Eagles should find them firmly in the middle of the best team in the county discussion and will have another big chance to prove on Friday, Sept. 13, when they travel over the grade to face Emilio Corona and the 2-0 Tigers who beat Arroyo Grande in their season opener.