Although Jesuit scored in the final 21 seconds to make their Oct. 5 matchup closer than they wanted, Cosumnes Oaks focused on the big picture at the end of a hot day at Jesuit High School, which is an undefeated Delta League record and their sixth straight win.
The Wolfpack led most of the afternoon to create some momentum during Jesuit’s homecoming game en route to winning 28-21.
“They want it. They’re motivated, they’re hungry, they’re starving for success. As coaches we give them the plan and the objective and they have to be the one to execute it and they are,” Cosumnes Oaks coach Andrew Bettencourt said afterward when asked about the key to the Wolfpack’s win streak. “Obviously, it’s starting out six straight wins. Some are better than others but a win’s a win. We’ll move on from this, we’ll learn and now it’s Franklin.”
Cosumnes Oaks is 3-0 in league and 6-1 overall.
The Wolfpack’s defense was integral in their first score of the afternoon.
A fumble recovery with three minutes left in the first quarter gave the Wolfpack the ball and Anthony Grigsby Jr. ended up throwing a touchdown pass to Ishmael Rehberg with 2:43 remaining.
The Marauder defense keyed in on the Wolfpack during several big plays as well, however, and intercepted a pass near the start of the second quarter.
The Marauders’ Daniel Susac would eventually throw a touchdown pass to Cooper Shults with 9:37 left.
Both teams turned the ball over later in the quarter to end the half with a 7-7 tie.
The Wolfpack had a big third quarter, scoring three times on three passes.
Grigsby Jr. threw a 52-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Branden Jennings, Jaden Ramos scored on an 80-yard touchdown pass by Grigsby Jr. for a 21-7 Cosumnes Oaks lead and as time ran out, Jennings scored on a 15-yard pass by Grigsby and the Wolfpack ended the quarter with a 28-14 lead.
Jesuit’s Susac scored on a four-yard quarterback keeper with 7:53 left in the quarter.
The Wolfpack was able to prevent any further scoring in the quarter, however, and quickly tackled Marauder receivers and sacked Susac to force a turnover on downs before the Wolfpack scored the final touchdown of the quarter.
“We threw the ball, obviously, better than our run did. Obviously, we had to rely on our pass on some big plays. We shot ourselves in the foot with a couple of formations and a couple of alignments but that was all credit to Jesuit’s defense. They made some adjustments and put us in a couple situations to mix some things up. They took our run away and obviously our offense is predicated off our run but that’s a good thing because it allowed us to get in the game with a little adversity and it allows us to grow a little bit in that aspect. We just have to get back to the board, learn from this and get ready for Franklin,” Bettencourt said.
While the Wolfpack retained their cushioned lead into the fourth quarter, Jesuit’s offense struggled.
Noah Clay forced a fumble that the Marauders recovered but a frustrated Susac saw the ball turn over on downs before the Wolfpack broke up a touchdown pass attempt with just over two minutes left on the next Marauder possession.
The Marauders finally scored on a 10-yard reception with 21 seconds left.
The field was a slippery mess and it showed on both sides, as Wolfpack players went down with rolled ankles and Susac could be heard complaining about the field conditions in the first half as well.
“Obviously, the ground’s not so forgiving. It’s probably the worst turf football field I’ve seen in my career, playing and coaching. Obviously, that’s not an excuse for what happened,” Bettencourt said, referring to any slight problems by the Wolfpack.
As the Wolfpack are one of two teams left in the Delta with undefeated records (along with Elk Grove), continuing to follow their game plan and keep their streak intact will be the Wolfpack’s focus as they take on the Wildcats this week, noted Bettencourt, who indicated that taking the season one game at a time is crucial.
“Our goal coming in this year is to be league champions so that means we have to beat everybody that’s ahead of us. We’ll never be above the game that’s ahead of us,” said Bettencourt.