Whenever Steele Canyon’s football season ends, some Cougars might want to go out for the track team.
Steele Canyon racked up 497 rushing yards Friday night en route to a 49-17 win over visiting El Camino in the first round of the San Diego Section Division I playoffs.
The No. 5 seed Cougars had two halfbacks —Wes Neely and Kenneth Watson — eclipse the 100-yard mark on the ground, finishing with 141 and 140 yards, respectively. Quarterback Nathan Bennett rushed for 94 yards and three touchdowns.
Steele Canyon (9-2) returns four of the five starting offensive linemen from last year’s state 3A title team.
“We’re just hoping to go through the playoffs and continue to win,” Watson said. “We already knew that we had a great offensive line, and we just wanted to make sure that we ran behind them.”
The Cougars controlled the flow of the game, wearing down a Wildcat (1-9) defense that traveled to Spring Valley all the way from Oceanside.
Steele Canyon head coach Scott Longerbone was proud of his team for avoiding the “trap game” mentality, as No. 12 seed El Camino’s 1-win season masks the rough schedule it faced.
“These guys are very businesslike,” Longerbone said. “I think our guys are very seasoned in the playoffs by now.”
After going into halftime up 21-9, the Cougars simply dominated the second half. Steele Canyon reached paydirt on a pair of third-quarter runs by Barnett and one by Neely. Junior Akintunde scored on a 12-yard run in the fourth quarter, giving the Cougars a commanding 49-9 lead.
Zion Jackson shined for the Wildcats, running for 111 yards and one touchdown on 18 carries. He also booted a 30-yard field goal in the first quarter.
Lafferty is a freelance writer.
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