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Football 2013: Cupertino Remains Undefeated With 28-21 OT Win Against Gunn

posted Oct 5, 2013, 7:10 AM by Bill Walstrom   [ updated Jan 14, 2016, 9:37 AM ]
The Cupertino Pioneers survived a fourth quarter comeback by the Gunn Titans to take their conference opener 28-21 in overtime and improve their record to 5-0, 1-0.

The game started slowly for the Pioneers, as their offense could not get anything going in the first period. It was the Titans who got on the board first with a 26-yard touchdown scored by Sean Lydster, one of three rushing TD’s on the night for the senior running back.  

Cupertino got untracked in the second quarter sparked by a 47 yard punt return by Kyle Avvakumovits that put the Pioneers into scoring position. This drive belonged to Jordan McNutt, who carried the ball five straight plays totaling 26 yards, culminating in a 2-yard scoring plunge up the middle to tie the game at 7. Cupertino got the ball back deep in Titan territory on their next possession, and Mitchell Dang scored on a 5 yard rushing touchdown putting the Pioneers up 14-7 at halftime. 

After a scoreless third quarter, the Pioneers seemingly put the game out of reach as quarterback Anthony Pozzetti found Avvakumovits in the corner of the end zone for a 10 yard touchdown. And with the continuing accuracy of kicker Alexis Silva nailing the point after, the lead was 21 to 7 with less than 10 minutes left in the game.  But the Titans had plenty of fight left in them. They scored on their next two possessions tying the game up at 21 apiece as the regulation period came to a close. This brought about the overtime period.  

In high school, overtime rules state that each team gets a possession with the ball at the opponent’s 10-yard line to start. Cupertino got the ball first but fumbled on the very first play, turning the ball over to Gunn, and the situation seemed bleak. But on Gunn’s first play in overtime, a relentless and swarming Cupertino defense forced a fumble of their own and jumped on the ball to give the Pioneer offense another chance. This time Mitchell Dang took the first down carry 10 yards into the end zone and Cupertino was up 28-21. However, Gunn still had a chance to score themselves. But on fourth down from the 5 yard line, Linebacker Edison Espinoza deflected the Titan pass, which landed harmlessly incomplete, and the Pioneers reigned victorious.
Coach Oswald, in his postgame press conference, stated, “I’m so proud of these guys. Their ability to overcome adversity is incredible. It would have been easy to get down after that fumble in overtime, but our defense kept at it and came up with a turnover themselves.”  Oswald highlighted the defensive play of David Park and William Liu, and also commended the strong linebacker performances of Jordan McNutt and Jacob Alexander. When asked about Mitchell Dang’s 153 yard rushing performance, Oswald was effusive in his praise. “It’s awesome to see Mitchell be able to cut back and follow his blockers now that he’s fully healthy. That was a great performance.” 

Cupertino has next week off as a scheduled bye week, before traveling to Monta Vista on Friday October 18 for a tough matchup against the Matadors who opened their conference schedule with a 24-14 win on the road at Homestead.
Gunn         7   0   0  14   0        21
Cupertino    0  14   0   7   7(OT)    28
Scoring plays:
1st Quarter:
Gunn: Lydster – 13 yard TD run (Kasznik kick)
2nd Quarter: 
CHS: McNutt – 2 yard TD Run (Silva kick)
CHS: Dang – 3 yard run (Silva kick)
3rd Quarter:
No scoring
4th Quarter:
CHS: Avvakumovits 10 yard TD reception from Pozzetti (Silva Kick)
Lydster 32 yard TD run (Kasznik kick)
Lydster 5 yard TD run (Kasznik kick)
Cupertino: Dang – 10 yard TD run
Top players:
CHS: Mitchell Dang – 158 yards rushing and 2 TD’s
Gunn: Sean Lydster – 132 yards rushing and 3 TD’s