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Canyon football: Riding the momentum

Cowboys have started the season 3-0 and enter Beverly Hills game ranked No. 2 in Northern Division

Posted: September 30, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: September 30, 2011 1:55 a.m.

When the CIF Southern Section Northern Division No. 2-ranked Canyon Cowboys host Beverly Hills High School tonight at 7:30 p.m. they’ll be looking keep the momentum of their 3-0 start going.

And more importantly, they’ll be looking to avoid overconfidence as the Cowboys (3-0) have begun pulling more and more attention from outside the Foothill League.

“It’s a chess match,” said Canyon head coach Rich Gutierrez. “You want to go out there and do the best of your abilities and that’s something our coaches try to impress upon our kids. On any given Friday, things can happen.”

On this Friday, Canyon will look to mix up its offense, getting the ball to star wide receiver Drew Wolitarsky and running back Max Archuleta.

But as Camarillo High found out last week, there are plenty of other weapons on the Canyon offense.

Wide receiver Coley Apsay, who caught eight passes for 151 yards and two touchdowns, figures to fit into the Canyon offensive scheme once again.

“I think everybody wants to stop (Wolitarsky) ...” Gutierrez said. “I think everyone wants to stop (Wolitarsky) because he’s such a high-percentage facet of our team, but the first three games we’ve shown we do a good job of mixing it up really well. Now when teams are coming against us, they have to determine what they want to stop.”

Not everything last week worked out perfectly for the Cowboys though, as they allowed a state-record 28 receptions to Camarillo’s Jake Maulhardt.

Canyon did a good job defending the run against Camarillo, but against an offense like Beverly Hills, which tries to maintain balance on the ground and through the air, they will have to improve against the pass.

“They have a combination of things that they do,” Gutierrez said. “They kind of mix it up really well. It’s a good opportunity for us to see different formations and try to adjust.”

Leading the Beverly Hills offense will be senior quarterback Brandon Adams, along with senior running back Frank Brown and senior wide receiver Willie Green.

And with all those weapons, the Normans will try to challenge Canyon on multiple levels.

“They’re in the I-formation, they’ll go to trips, they’ll go to spread, they’ll go to quad ... Beverly Hills likes to challenge you and it gets you in a position to work.”

Through the first three weeks the Cowboys have proven they are capable of handling what opponents throw at them. But as is often the case with early success, the biggest worry is overconfidence.

“I always feel every team we play they’re always good and they’re always going to challenge you in different ways so I never feel complacent,” Gutierrez said. “And that’s something we try to convey to the kids — complacency is a killer. Every week is a new challenge.”

And this week the challenge is to keep up the momentum of a strong start.


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