The Half Moon Bay High School Cougar varsity football team ran to a 2-0 record on Friday on the sturdy two legs of Connor Quosig. They beat Burlingame at home, 45-26.
Crediting Quosig with the victory is a vast oversimplification, of course. Team blocking out of the Cougars’ feared jumbo package bullied the Panthers backward all night long. And, after a couple of slipped tackles and long bombs, the Cougar defense held the talented Burlingame quarterback Jordan Malashus largely in check.
But the night clearly belonged to Quosig. He scored three touchdowns and found freedom on a couple of long runs from scrimmage.
“He’s a warrior, right?” said head coach Keith Holden when the dust cleared. “I don’t know how many carries he had, but he’s a tough kid.”
Quosig wasn’t the only weapon the Cougars had in the bag. Freshman quarterback William Moffitt had another good night, controlling the game and scoring a touchdown himself. Running back Tristan Hofmann was also all but unstoppable, scoring twice and adding to the Burlingame frustrations.
Quosig was quick to credit his blockers for his big night on the stat sheet.
“My linemen blocked great for me so I was just hitting the holes they made,” he said. “We just grinded more than them.”
The game was close much of the way, and Half Moon Bay got off to a slow start before the new lights on Francis Field lit the way. The Cougars lost a fumble on the first play from scrimmage and had some early penalty trouble.
But in the second possession, Moffitt hit Hofmann in the left flat and the big back ran 65 yards for a touchdown. Moffitt kept it himself to complete the 2-point conversion and it was 8-0.
Burlingame came right back. Malashus rolled right on the next possession and hit a streaking receiver who got beyond the coverage and into the end zone. The extra point failed and it was 8-6, Half Moon Bay. Burlingame recovered an onside kick on the next play and took the lead on another touchdown pass, this one from 33 yards out. The score was 13-8, Panthers, with 5:20 to go in the first quarter.
Hofmann took over on the next possession, at one point running for 19 yards in two plays. He eventually scored from the 1, and ran in the 2-point conversion as well, to make it 16-13, Cougars, with 1:38 to go in the half.
But the Cougars weren’t content to ride the clock to the intermission. They overcame an illegal block on what would have been a big gain by receiver Cade Duncan when Moffitt hit Hofmann over the middle and into the end zone. Oz Monroy’s extra point make it 23-13 at the half.
Burlingame did not give up. Malashus hit sophomore Will Uhrich who sidestepped a Cougar defender and ended up with a 55-yard touchdown. The score was 23-20, Half Moon Bay, with 9:41 to go in the third.
Then Quosig took over. He scored on a 14-yard scamper off the left tackle with 6:09 remaining in the third. The kick was blocked and it was 29-20.
Burlingame’s Lucas Meredith got loose from his fullback position and ran 60 yards to make it 29-26. The Panthers’ extra point attempt was blocked.
In the fourth quarter, the Cougars’ running game was unstoppable from the tightly packed jumbo formation. Again and again, Quosig ran off the left side of the line and toward the Burlingame end zone. Moffitt pulled a misdirection and snuck 20 yards untouched for the last touchdown of the game.
Quosig bulled in for the 2-point conversion to make it 45-26.
Holden was pleased with the direction his team is taking.
“(Good) Effort and competing for a whole game,” he said. “We weren’t perfect, but our effort was pretty good.”