Explosive 2nd Half Not Enough For Fighting Owls

Photo credit: James Bystry
Photo credit: James Bystry

Citrus Football traveled Saturday to go head to head with conference leader Allan Hancock, who has been undefeated in conference play this season. The Owls struggled to get on the board in the first half, but turned things around in the second half with an offensive barrage. 

The home team had controlled much of the first half, frustrating the Wols with forced turnovers and 3rd down stops. Citrus would go into the locker room at halftime looking for solutions, having been scoreless and down 14-0. The Fighting Owls would apply those solutions with tactful execution as they scored quickly in the 3rd quarter on an 11 play, 58 yard drive that resulted in a 35 yard Diego Morales field goal. Later in the 3rd, Quarterback Darreon Lockett completed a 36 yard TD pass to Jamar Graves, putting the Owls in striking range at 10-14. 

After going down 20-10 early in the 4th quarter, Citrus ignited when Lockett once again completed a long TD pass, this time to Jacob Bystry for a 50 yard stinger that left Allan Hancock stunned. But the shock wore off quickly as they scored swiftly on a 2 play drive, putting the score at 27-17. 

Citrus dug deep late in the 4th as they put up a fight on defense, and were rewarded when La Atanoa forced a fumble, recovered it and ran 17 yards for a touchdown. Down by 5 with 4 minutes to go, the Owls would slow the home team down on their final drive. But Allan Hancock ran the clock down, squashing the hopes of a final possession and a comeback win for Citrus. 

Citrus ends the season with an overall record of 3-7 and a conference mark of 2-3. But the record of the team doesn't speak to the level of improvement and competitiveness the Owls brought in every game. The Owls will graduate 29 Sophomores, several of those being ranked high in state statistical leader boards. Coach Ron Ponciano and his veteran staff will undoubtedly fix their sites on their recruiting efforts in the off season to bolster the already impressive returning cast of Freshmen.