Pacifica overcomes mistakes to defeat Cypress

There were mistakes on both sides of the ball, but the Pacifica Mariners were able to recover from their mistakes a little better and eventually put away Cypress, 35-10, in an Empire League football game on Thursday at Bolsa Grande High. It was the league opener for both teams.The Mariners (5-1, 1-0) were once again led by quarterback Nick Garcia, who threw for 200 yards and two touchdowns. Garcia also rushed for 81 yards. Matt Moslenko had 146 receiving yards, with two touchdowns, including a 55-yarder that capped the Mariner’s scoring and gave them a 35-7 lead with 3:12 left in the third quarter.“We’re happy with the win, but we definitely have some things to clean up,” Pacifica coach Vinnie Lopez said. Of concern for Lopez, was what he felt was a sloppy start to the game, particularly after his team looked so sharp in their win over Westminster the week before. The Mariners had jumped out to a 21-0 lead, but helped the Centurions (2-4, 0-1) gain some momentum just before the half.Cypress was able to drive for a touchdown with just 2 seconds left in the half, aided by two 15-yard penalties on Pacifica. The drive ended with quarterback Alex Ashcroft connecting with Benny Morales for a 15-yard touchdown that cut the Mariner lead to 21-7 at halftime. But the Centurions were unable to capitalize on the momentum, as they received the second half kickoff but went three-and-out with punt. Pacifica took control as a long pass completion from Garcia to Moslenko set the mariners up at the Cypress 1 yard line.Trent Hunter finished the drive with a one-yard touchdown run to push the lead to 28-7. Isaiah Parra had 48 rushing yards for the Centurions and Ashcraft added 30 more yards, but the Cypress offense could not find a consistent rhythm. Cypress coach Rick Feldman said that the Centurions are too young and inexperienced to overcome the key mistakes they are making.“We just can’t come out slow and make the mistakes that we made,” Feldman said. One specific mistake was on the opening kickoff, Feldman noted. The Centurions made a good kick that Pacifica was unable to field cleanly. However, Pacifcasenior receiver Mathew Estrada was able to pick the ball up off the ground, and find a gap in the coverage to return in 81 yards for a touchdown, that gave the Mariners a quick 7-0 lead.Pacifica will try to improve to 2-0 in league play with a game against Kennedy on Friday at Western High. Cypress will also try to sharpen its play, with a road game at Tustin on Thursday. “I think our effort is there, our guys play hard,” Feldman said.

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