Short weeks worry Roger Canepa, the fiery leader of the Central Catholic football team.
The sight of starting quarterback Kyle Jackson in street clothes didn't help his stress levels. Canepa spent the last three days fast-tracking sophomore call-up Jordan Barton to be senior Theo Azevedo's backup for Thursday's Sac-Joaquin Section Division II opener against Stagg.
"You always worry if you're ready to play," Canepa said.
How worried could he really be?
The Raiders scored 45 unanswered points to start the game, rolling the San Joaquin Athletic Association champions 65-18. Coleby Garrett scored four times, Dauson Booker had two long touchdowns runs, and Barton tossed his first varsity touchdown.
Now Central Catholic gets more than a week to prepare for No. 6 Rocklin, which thumped depleted Downey in its opener, 37-7.
"I thought we played well for a short week," Canepa said. "We came out with the victory. No we got to get ready for a home game against Rocklin."
Canepa said his team was anxious to get back on the field following last week's 27-21 loss to Valley Oak League champion Oakdale. The Raiders led 14-0 and 21-7, but couldn't finish in their first setback of the season. The defeat snapped Central Catholic's eight-game winning streak.
"We were anxious to play," he said. "We've played well all year. We just wanted to get back on the winning side of things and back on the field."
Garrett had scoring runs of 1, 13 and 16 yards. He also reeled in a 6-yard scoring toss from Barton, who later threw his first varsity interception.
Dawaiian McNeely and Kyle Jacklich also scored rushing touchdowns, while Sithri Price returned an interception 45 yards for a score. David Gallegos connected on a 46-yard field goal and seven of his eight extra-point kicks.
"The playoffs are a different season. Everyone is 0-0," Canepa said. "Now we take it one game at a time, but it was nice to get back to our winning ways."