In 1952, the Citrus Owl Football squad took the field against who was then known as Oceanside College (now Mira Costa College) in its 2nd game of the season. The Fighting Owls proceeded to thump Oceanside 73-0 in an obviously one-sided contest. The score of 73 points in a single game, as well as the 73 point margin of victory, stood strong as the all-time record at Citrus for 64 years.
Fast forward to Saturday at Citrus Stadium, where the 1-0 Owls had been like caged bulls since getting a whiff of blood the previous week at West LA. Citrus took the field Saturday with a collective confidence not seen in recent memory on the gridiron in Glendora. Citrus proceeded to out-work, out-score, out-defend and out-compete the visiting Compton Tartars, en route to the non-conference win.
Citrus was good on both sides of the ball. There were highlights abound, individual standouts, incredible athletic plays, and tons of action. But most impressive was Citrus' sense of team and the overall morale and confidence of the group. The Citrus roster features a long list of top level athletes, each a standout in their positions, and each capable of contributing big numbers to the team. It was clear that the players are supportive of each other and are buying into the team concept.
First, on the defense side of the ball, the Owls obviously shut the Tartars out completely, holding the visitors to -11 total offensive yards. The Owls were an absolute nightmare for the Compton offense, shutting down 9 of 11 3rd down attempts and allowing 0 4th down conversions. The D-line threw down 6 sacks on the day for lost yardage of 28; pressured (terrorized) the quarterback into just 3 for 18 completions; forced 2 interceptions for 41 yards returned; and bulldozed their way to 4 points on 2 safeties.
Individually, returner Jonathan Shelley led the way for the defense on the day with 7 total tackles and half of a sack; Grant Trueman knocked down 6 guys and pummeled the quarterback 1.5 times; DJ Allen chipped in a cool 5 tackles; and 6 guys recorded 3 tackles.
On the offense side, Citrus chopped their way down the field all day, amassing a total of 450 offensive yards, 201 of those passing, and 249 on the ground. Quarterback Austin Zavala passed a perfect 5 for 5 for 145 yards with a 67 yard long. The Citrus run game was a sight to behold, with 6 players running the ball twice or more and 4 guys totaling over 40 yards each. The balanced run attack is a force to be reckoned with for opponents and will no doubt be something to watch throughout the 2018 season. Overall the Owls scored 4 rushing TD's, 2 of those belonging to James Brown who rushed for 79 yards and a 15.8 yard average. Bryce French also chipped in impressive numbers with a 13.2 yard average on 5 carries. 3 Citrus receivers scored TD receptions, 2 coming off of Zavala and 1 from Kody Olmos. Major Lee totaled 92 yards on 3 receptions for a 30.7 yard average and a TD; Nathan Dennis was handed the ball twice and scored a TD with 53 yards rushing; and Anthony Ruiz crossed the goal line once on a 42 yard reception.
The Owls have 3 more preseason games before conference play begins on October 13th. Citrus starts the season 2-0 as it moves into its next game this Saturday when they travel to Palomar College. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:00 PM at Escondido High School.
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