A stout Tigers defense made their presence felt in the Redwood Bowl Friday night as Arcata High shut out visiting Balboa—San Francisco 10-0 in what was Arcata’s final non-conference game before Little 4 Conference play begins.
After throwing for two touchdowns last week, sophomore Shane Purcell got the nod under center for the Tigers Friday night. It would be a slow night for the Tigers offense.
“We make a play, get a penalty here, a hold call there,” Arcata High head coach Jamal Jones said. “We have to stay ahead of the chains and keep making plays.”
The defense was the glue that held Arcata together Friday night.
After Purcell threw an interception in the endzone the Tigers’ defense stood tall with their backs against the wall early in the second quarter, forcing Balboa’s ball-carrier to fumble inside the visitor’s 20-yard-line.
Arcata did not waste its second-chance at a score and turned to its most trusted running back to get it done.
Kein Mazzotti got the ball and bounced through a few Balboa defenders for an 8-yard touchdown early in the second quarter. A quarterback-keeper from senior Matthew Robinson on the point-after attempt put the Tigers up 8-0.
With about a minute left to play in the first half, the Tigers’ special team came up with a huge punt-block from senior Mateo Vincent with Balboa’s punter deep in his own end-zone. The ball bounced through the back of the endzone for a safety, pushing Arcata’s lead to 10-0 going into halftime.
“Our defense played one heck of a game,” Jones said. “Until our offense can step-up and make plays, we have to play hard.”
Arcata defensive line, including Maximus Rice, Jack Baca and Syrus Houle, dominated the visiting Buccaneers offensive line in the win.