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CALABASAS — A week after a comeback win against Simi Valley, the Calabasas High football team found itself once against needing second-half heroics when it played host to Marmonte League foe Bishop Diego at Keith Richie Field on Friday night.
The Coyotes weren’t able to recapture the same magic, dropping this one, 48-21 to the Cardinals.
Twice in the first half, bad snaps resulted in turnovers for Calabasas. One was an interception that went all the way back for a touchdown and the other a fumble that set Bishop Diego up already in the red zone to start its drive.
“We gotta win the field position battle,” said Calabasas coach Cary Harris. “It’s huge for us. Giving them a short field, having a pick-six there gave them all the momentum. Letting them get up 21-6 at half was really detrimental to our team and we’ve gotta do a better job from the start.”
Calabasas falls to 5-3 overall with the loss. Their 1-2 league record has pushed their backs against the wall if they hope to make the playoffs.
“We gotta win two,” said Harris. “We have to win them both if we don’t want to leave it up to the selection committee or anything like that.”
Calabasas found itself behind 21-0 midway through the second quarter.
They were able to chip into the deficit just before halftime, with Dominic Peko Jr pulling in a 13-yard touchdown catch from junior quarterback Alonzo Contreras.
Contreras added a pair of second-half touchdown passes to junior Aaron Butler and senior Jerry McGee. McGee proved to be the offensive star of the night in defeat for Calabasas, with more than 100 receiving yards. His touchdown came from 80 yards away.
The dynamic running attack of Bishop Diego, led by the powerful Qu’ran Gossett paved the way for Bishop Diego to prevent a comeback.
“We did a pretty decent job of tackling, especially in the first half,” said Harris. “Eventually they just kind of wore us down.”
Gossett impressed Harris.
“He’s one of the best running backs I’ve seen in a very long time,” said Harris. “He’s very talented. He never gets tackled by the first guy. It takes a group to bring him down.”