Fighting Owl Football is making a statement in 2019. The red hot team hit the road on Saturday for a non-conference battle against Allan Hancock, and made the drive home having improved to a perfect 5-0 on the season. The impressive start by the Owls is one of the best all time, with the Owls having won its first 5 games of the season just twice before. Once was in 1975, the other was way back in 1950.
Fueling the steady march of the team has been a multifaceted run-game, bolstered by a top notch offensive line; an efficient and reliable air game; a fierce defensive lineup that terrorizes the opponent run game; and a slew of multitalented athletes that can do a wide range of things for the team on any given Saturday.
Citrus has enjoyed the fruits of its labor especially when it comes to rushing, and the team numbers prove that the hard work on the practice field is paying off. The Owls are ranked amongst the top run teams in the state, with a huge cast of characters that keep the opponent guessing. Citrus is ranked 4th statewide in rushing attempts (213), 15th in rushing yards (875), and 10th in rushing touchdowns (11).
But Saturday's game demonstrated why the Owls are a wining team this year, the ability to adapt. A team that normally averages 175 rushing yards per game, the Owls were challenged by Allan Hancock, and swiftly adapted to their air game. Citrus was held to just 65 yards rushing in the game, but turned on the pass game switch and that yielded 186 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 9 first downs. Quarterback Austin Zavala ended the day with all 3 of those touchdowns, finding Jeremiah Lineberger twice, one a 45 yard play, the other 25 yards. Zavala's 3rd TD of the day would go to Jeremiah Flores, a 20 yard score. Of the 65 rushing yards, running back Walter Carl claimed 55 of those, on 11 attempts with an 18 yard long. Zavala ended the day with 186 yards.
Defensively, the Owls held it down, as per usual. Secondary strongman Jake Urena led all players with 10 total tackles, Darrion Warner had 8 tackles, Chima Mbaruguru tallied up 7 tackles, Eden Smith got 6 tackles and a sack, Jason Villa recorded 6 tackles and 2 sacks, and Kendal Henderson chipped in 6 tackles as well. Defensive lineman Anthony Chism snagged an interception in the effort, running it back 19 yards.
The non-conference win improves the Owls to 5-0 on the year, with the first conference game of the season coming after what will be a bye week for Citrus. The 1st conference game for the Owls will be on Saturday, October 19th in a road game against College of the Desert. Kickoff will be at 6:00 PM.
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