Canoga Defeats Wolves

by Nazaret Jarekian

The Mirror Staff

Throughout the fourth quarter, Van Nuys’ defense struggled. One player said after the game, “Our defense gave up.”


 Van Nuys vs. Sylmar
 JV: 4 p.m. | Varsity: 7 p.m.



Wolves Get HUNTED

FOOTBALL: Canoga Park emerges victorious, 43-28 after a series of mishaps for the Wolves in the final quarter;  JV team run over, going 1-2 for season

Coming off two blowout victories, the Wolves Varsity football team played their first division game of the season on Sept. 23, on the road against Canoga Park, getting a 43-27 spanking and going 2-2 for the season, while the JV squad went down as well.

The Junior Varsity team looked to bounce back after a lopsided loss at Monroe but continued to struggles at the hands of the Canoga Park Hunters.

Emerging from a terrible 30-6 defeat to Monroe High, the Wolves J.V. team got pulverized by the Hunters, losing 47-12.

From the beginning, the Wolves Varsity team held their own until totally breaking down in the final quarter.
The Varsity Wolves were forced to play catch up 13 seconds into the game after the Hunters had an extraordinary kickoff return for a touchdown.


Eric Castro (28) finds space for a 78-yard run for a touchdown.

The Wolves were quick to respond with their impressive run game that has overpowered teams for the beginning of the season, scoring a goal and tying the game.

The tide turned again right away, with the Hunters quickly scoring 13 unanswered points, ending the first quarter with a touchdown, and starting the second quarter with one as well.

The resilient Wolves kept on clawing their way back into the game with a superb performance from both the offense and defense, closing out the half in a dramatic fashion.

After the Wolves offense struggled to move the chains, the defense was forced to go back on the field and execute a stop in which they succeeded, bringing the ball back to the offense for another chance to score and reduce the gap before half time.

The Wolves started to show a pulse with a big run from Quarterback George Garcia to move to chains and keep possession, going on to score a touchdown with over seven minutes left in the half.

It was up to the defense to force another stop to keep evening the game’s score within reach. Again they succeeded in getting the ball back to the Wolves’ offense to close out the half. With less than a minute remaining, the Wolves scored another touchdown, giving them a 21-20 lead at halftime.

In the third quarter, the Wolves’ defense reverted back to their early ways, struggling to stop the Hunters from gaining first downs and, eventually, failing to stop the Hunters from scoring another touchdown on top of a two point conversion, giving Canoga Park a 7-point lead with a little over 2 minutes remaining in the third.

This didn’t mean much to the Wolves, as running back Eric Castro broke down the Hunters’ defense ran for a huge 79 yards and a touchdown in the closing seconds of the third quarter.

With both teams at a 28-point stalemate heading into the last quarter of the game, the Wolves looked to continue their winning streak and gain their first win in the division.

Throughout the fourth quarter, however, Van Nuys’ defense struggled. One player said after the game, “Our defense gave up.”

The offense wasn’t so spectacular either. After letting the Hunters score a touchdown in the fourth, the offense looked to light a flame under the team and regain the lead, but immediately, the offense got a bad omen.

A bad return after the kickoff forced the Wolves into less-than-ideal field position, leading to Quarterback George Garcia being brought down in the opposing end zone. The Hunters extended their lead 36-28.

The defense continued to struggles allowing Canoga another touchdown, extending the Hunters’ lead to 43-28.

With the game on the line, Van Nuys’ offense looked to have one last comeback, but fell short after being unable to convert on deep passes due to a combination of receivers struggling to get open and Canoga Park bullying the Wolves offensive line.

Quarterback George Garcia was forced to scramble out of the pocket and was suffocated by Canoga Park’s defense.

“We just need to come together, review what we didn’t do, and get ready for the next week,” Lineman Jon De Leon said. “We just need to focus on ourselves.”

Van Nuys looks to regroup against Sylmar on Sept. 30, in front of home crowd after a two week absence , looking to get back above .500 on the season.

NEXT GAME: Wolves home against Sylmar High School on Friday, Sept. 30. JV at 4 p.m. and Varsity at 7 p.m.