By Jeremy Balan
DALY CITY – The patented Lowell double-wing offense sputtered in the Cardinals’ first two games, but it didn’t take long long to realize it was firing on all cylinders on the road against Jefferson on Friday night.
The Cardinals possessed the ball for nearly 36 minutes of game time, ran for 332 yards and rolled to a 42-0 win over the Indians in their non-league finale.
Three Lowell running backs ran for more than 90 yards, led by senior Lorenzo Pesino, who ran for 99 and a touchdown. Fellow seniors William Kim and Michael McCarthy ran for 95 and 92 yards, respectively, and the pair had two rushing touchdowns apiece.
The Cardinals (1-2) gained more yardage against Jefferson (1-3) than their previous two games combined and nearly all of the Lowell offense came in the first half due officials instituting a running clock early in the third quarter.
“We went back to the basics,” said Lowell head coach Danny Chan. “We had two weeks to lick our wounds and we got them to play our brand of football – punishing and repetitive football. I don’t think [Jefferson] scouted us. I think they thought, “Oh, whatever, they’re 0-2.'”
The Lowell offense ran at-will throughout, but the Cardinals also got a standout performance from their defensive unit.
Lowell held the Indians to just 55 yards of total offense, recovered six fumbles and limited Jefferson to 20 offensive plays. The Cardinals also recovered two onside kicks.
“This is the first game where we had a complete first half,” said Kim, who ran for two touchdowns and also returned a fumble 55 yards for a touchdown as time expired at the end of the second quarter. “We don’t want to underestimate anyone we play against. I just hope we come back next week even better.”
Kim’s fumble recovery was the biggest play for the Lowell stop unit, which came on Jefferson’s only sustained drive.
The Indians were at the Lowell 44-yard line with 2 seconds left in the second quarter when the Lowell defense flushed Jefferson quarterback Dominic Blandino out of the pocket on the first half’s final play.
Lowell junior defensive end Asa Evans chased down Blandino in the backfield and knocked the ball loose, then Kim scooped up the fumble and scampered for the score to put the Cardinals up 35-0 at the half.
The Lowell offense only got better after that.
In the second half, Jefferson ran only five offensive plays, lost three fumbles and totaled minus-6 yards of offense.
“This week in practice, we’ve had guys prematurely thinking we are something we aren’t yet,” said Jefferson head coach Joe Nelson. “Coming off a win [over Balboa last week], you would hope your players would be excited to prepare for a game against a team we can realistically play with. That was not the case in practice.”
L: 7:31 – Michael McCarthy 2-yard run (William Kim run on conversion)
L: 3:25 – Kim 4-yard run (conversion failed)
L: 10:42 – Kim 2-yard run (McCarthy kick)
L: 8:12 – McCarthy 6-yard run (McCarthy kick)
L: 0:00 – Kim 55-yard fumble return (McCarthy kick)
L: 11:48 – Lorenzo Pesino 2-yard run (McCarthy kick)