Half Moon Bay High School defensive back Nohea Sharp was so close. With Carlmont on third-and-4 at midfield in the first quarter, the defensive back made the right read on a throw from the Scots’ Timothy Netane toward his receiver on the sideline. Sharp lunged for it, but the ball just came out of his grasp. The sideline moaned with the Cougars’ near good fortune. Had he recovered, his clear path to the end zone would have put the Cougars ahead, 22-0.
As it was, Sharp had much more in store throughout the game. When the Scots, down 29-0 in the final seconds of the first quarter, tried to take a deep shot toward the end zone, Sharp shut them down again. Netane aired out a 30-yard pass that Sharp saw coming, and this time he snagged it perfectly.
Cougar Quinn McCauley had another interception in the second quarter. But it was Connor Quosig’s pick in the third quarter that really set off pandemonium on the Cougars’ sideline. The reason: Defensive backs coach Corey Freedman had promised the team In-N-Out burgers for a week if they got at least three interceptions this week.
“He’s the type of guy, if he doesn’t show up with In-N-Out I’ll be shocked,” head coach Keith Holden said.
Whatever the team’s motivation, the Cougars played near perfection throughout the game. Quarterback William Moffitt ran for four touchdowns and Tristan Hofmann rushed for three more as Cougars (9-0) dismantled Carlmont Scots (3-6) on Cougar Senior Night and Homecoming in front of a raucous crowd at Half Moon Bay High School.
“To me, the most impressive thing about the interceptions was not so much the interceptions but the position we put ourselves in to make them,” Holden said. “Just playing our leverage the way it’s supposed to be.”
It was one of those nights that combined excellent playmaking with superb coaching. The offense was in sync, using play-action and pre-snap movement to make big play after big play. The Cougars started the game with a run of 43 unanswered points, including 29 in the first quarter.
Another highlight of the night came from starting left guard Jake Perkins. In the final minutes, the senior was put in at fullback in the Cougars’ trademark Jumbo formation as the team aimed for its final score for the team’s regular season home game. The sidelines cheered when Perkins punched it in up the middle to cap off the 56-7 clinic.
Whether it was Quosig, Sharp or Cristian Haro, the Cougars offense demonstrated a balanced attack. Holden enjoyed seeing the team function like a well-oiled machine.
“Put the ball in (Hofmann’s) gut, and you can give it or pull it based on what the defensive end does,” Holden explained. “And then after that you can either run it or pitch it based on the outside linebackers. That’s what it’s supposed to look like.”