SACRAMENTO — A year after securing coach John Hilton’s first win by beating Capital Christian, Golden Sierra couldn’t duplicate Friday in losing its season opener to the host Cougars 47-3.
“Initially, I think we got a little intimidated from (Capital Christian’s) size in the beginning,” Hilton said. “And because of that all our basic mechanics went out the door.”
After the Grizzly offense went three-and-out on their first drive, junior Daniel Lesher jarred the ball loose and recovered in Cougar territory but the offense stalled and punted back to Capital. On the first play, Ethan Russo scampered 59 yards for a Cougar touchdown and led 8-0 after the two-point conversion.
Golden Sierra fumbled the ensuing kickoff and after a long drive, Russo capitalized with another touchdown. Near the end of the first half, Brandon Sullivan barreled into the end zone to stake the hosts to a 24-0 lead at the break.
“When we lost our composure early in the game, I think we really lost our fundamentals,” Hilton said.
After three more Capital Christian touchdowns highlighted by a 77-yard run by Justice Shelton-Mosley, Golden Sierra got on the board as quarterback Bryson Campbell twice scrambled out of the pocket to pick up first downs before hitting on a screen pass to Adam Sewell down to the 7 yard line where Campbell nailed the short field goal attempt.
“On that drive, I saw the heart of our team. During timeouts, they would come and excitedly say ‘Yeah Coach, this is working’ even though we were down by 47, we kept our heads up,” Hilton said.