APTOS — Usually when a coach says “we’re our own enemy,” it’s not a good thing.
But for the Aptos High football team and coach Randy Blankenship, eliminating mistakes is a philosophy for success. And so far this Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League season, it’s been a formula for complete domination.
The Mariners posted another blowout win Friday night, knocking off visiting Soquel 47-6 to clinch at least a share of the SCCAL title with one league game, against struggling San Lorenzo Valley, remaining.
All four of Aptos’ league wins have come by 30 points or more, and the Mariners (6-2, 4-0 SCCAL) have led by at least 30 at halftime in each of those games.
“We’re thinking about us getting better, that’s what we’re thinking of,” Aptos quarterback Alex Joh said. “If we focus on getting better, we just keep climbing.”
Blankenship said he was concerned about a letdown after the Mariners shut out Scotts Valley 49-0 in a highly anticipated matchup, but they had little trouble with Soquel (4-4, 1-2).
Aptos’ high-speed offensive attack was unstoppable from the start, as Mariners had six touchdowns and a field goal in their first seven possessions. The first time they failed to score was in the fourth quarter, by which time the game’s outcome was determined and a running clock was being used.
“Every week we’re clicking,” Joh said. “We’re getting better, faster, making the blocks and hitting the holes. And I guess the scoreboard shows it.”
So do the stats.
The Mariners’ fleet of runners combined for 396 yards rushing, with eight players finishing with more than 20 yards. Miles Beaudoin led the way with 84 yards on just five first-half carries. CJ Pistorino added 66 yards and two touchdowns, one from 13 yards and the other from 7 yards. Connon Houser, Louie Demicell and Gregory Bjur each added one touchdown apiece.
“There were sometimes tonight I was really pleased (with the offense),” Blankenship said. “It looked like a wave of people.”
Joh, meanwhile, completed all three of his passes, finishing with 77 yards through the air, including a 23-yard touchdown to Brooks Nicholson. Another long touchdown pass to Nicholson was nullified by a penalty.
Ryan Canavan had Soquel’s lone touchdown, dashing 28 yards for a score on the opening possession of the third quarter. The Knights were held to 127 yards of offense.
The scary part for opponents is that Aptos still feels like it can get better, particularly in reducing missed tackles on defense, where it often plays 10 juniors.
“If we can take care of that, I think we have a lot of good pieces to the puzzle,” said Blankenship, who noted that he felt his linebackers played better against Soquel than they did against Scotts Valley.
Aptos will play at nonleague game against Gunn this coming Friday, then wrap up the regular season the following week at SLV.
“Our kids are getting stronger and faster,” Blankenship said. “We’re loaded down below, but we’ve got to stay hungry and play good football.’
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