Embarrassing. That was the word Central Catholic High football coach Roger Canepa used to describe Friday night’s game against rival Manteca.
It’s not that the Raiders lost; Central won 35-28. But it was the way the Raiders earned the victory in the Valley Oak League opener that had him fuming after the game.
Not only were the Raiders sloppy, fumbling the ball six times (losing two), missing a field goal, and dropping a sure touchdown and easy interception.
But the Raiders were downright undisciplined, committed an embarrassing amount of penalties, including at least five personal fouls ... so many, it was hard to keep track.
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Canepa let his team know that things would be different moving forward.
“I’ve never seen so many stupid penalties in my life,” Canepa shouted at his team after the game. “And I mean stupid. ... We’re better than that!”
Canepa was at least happy about one thing: The Raiders won.
Dawaiian McNeely rushed for 215 yards and two touchdowns, and Kyle Jacklich ran for 103 yards and three TDs to provide Central Catholic with plenty of offense.
Dalton Durosette, who was officially named the team’s starting quarterback before the game, was solid, throwing for 162 yards and running for 15 more.
The Raiders’ offense played well enough to win easily, but defensive miscues and all of the penalties kept Manteca in the game.
With big games down the road, including a showdown at The Corral in Oakdale to close out the VOL schedule and the ensuing Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs, Central Catholic will have to clean things up.
“We’re not going to win big games if we don’t get better,” Canepa said.
Central Catholic’s defense held Manteca’s running attack in check for most of the night, but quarterback Ryan Ward torched the Raiders’ secondary for 326 yards and four touchdowns, the last coming with 16 seconds left in the game.
Central Catholic will be big favorites to run the table in the VOL until the Oct. 26 showdown at Oakdale.
With McNeely back from injury and Jacklich running strong, the Raiders only need Durosette to be solid and smart.
The junior, who transferred from Ceres High after his sophomore year, was both against Manteca. He attempted nine passes, connecting on six, including a 62-yarder and 42-yarder.
“Overall I feel I played pretty well,” Durosette said. “Could’ve been better. There’s always room for more improvement.”
After a bye week, Manteca plays host to Oakdale on Sept. 28. Central Catholic next plays at Sierra.