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Prep football: Cowboys’ final turn

Canyon’s turnaround season sees its end in Ventura; St. Bonaventure’s defense comes up big

Posted: November 27, 2010 12:04 a.m.
Updated: November 27, 2010 4:55 a.m.

VENTURA - Against a team the caliber of St. Bonaventure, opportunities are at a premium.

Canyon had a few early on Friday night, but couldn't capitalize against a stout St. Bonaventure defense.

The Cowboys were handed a 45-21 defeat in the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Northern Division playoffs at Ventura High School.

"We were going to have to play a perfect, lights-out game against them," said Canyon head coach Chris Varner. "A few bounces needed to go our way."

In the first quarter, things were going in favor of the Cowboys (10-2), as their defense stopped the Seraphs three-and-out on the opening possession.

Canyon quarterback Jonathan Jerozal threw an interception on the ensuing drive, setting up the Seraphs offense at the Canyon 29-yard line.

Again, the defense held, and St. Bonaventure had to settle for a 33-yard field goal for the first points of the game.

Jerozal responded on the next drive when he fired a pass over two defenders and into the hands of T.J. Yonkers for a 21-yard touchdown to give Canyon a 7-3 lead with 5:15 in the first.

Yonkers had three touchdown catches in the game and he finished with six catches for 113 yards.

From there, the Seraphs (11-1) switched to the run game, which was effective behind the big, powerful offensive line.

Wide receiver Tanner Souza scored on back-to-back drives for St. Bonaventure, once on a 10-yard run and once on a 63-yard screen pass delivered by quarterback Marc Evans.

The Seraphs led 17-7 by the end of the first quarter.

"You just can't have mistakes against a team like that," said Canyon senior linebacker Trent Hernandez. "All their scores were just off our mistakes."

Canyon was again given an opportunity when a St. Bonaventure fumble gave the Cowboys a first down at the Seraphs 39-yard line.

Three plays later, Mohammed Roknipour's 55-yard field-goal attempt fell short and Canyon came out empty-handed.

Souza added another 51-yard touchdown reception on a screen pass before the break to give St. Bonaventure a 24-7 halftime lead.

Evans finished 10-for-20 with 171 yards and two touchdowns.

Though the Cowboys scored on the opening drive of the second half on another Yonkers touchdown catch, this time from 25-yards out, the hopes of a comeback were short-lived.

Already leading 24-14, the Seraphs proceeded to score touchdowns on their next three possessions to put it out of reach, with two coming on Shaun Wick runs in the third quarter.

Backup running back Josh Grajeda scored the third touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Jerozal tossed his third and final touchdown to Yonkers on a flee-flicker play from 25-yards out in the fourth quarter as well.

Jerozal went 18-for-35 with 236 yards, two interceptions and the three scores.

"I have no regrets whatsoever," Hernandez said. "I feel like I did everything I could have for this team."

Perhaps not the happiest of endings for Canyon, but considering where they started this season, Varner was congratulatory to his team after the game.

"After two wins last year, a lot of people wouldn't have thought we could win 10 this year," Varner said.



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