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Football 2014: Cupertino defeats James Lick to move to 2-0

posted Sep 13, 2014, 9:37 AM by Bill Walstrom   [ updated Jan 14, 2016, 7:58 AM ]
The Cupertino Pioneers football team defeated the James Lick Comets by a score of 28-14 Friday night in Cupertino. Edison Hernandez rushed for 96 yards and two touchdowns, and receiver/kick returner Kyle Avvakumovits had 346 all-purpose yards – 187 receiving and 159 in returns --  and a touchdown as well. 

The game started out in a flourish for the Pioneers as Avvakumovits returned the opening kickoff 56 yards to the Comet 35 yard line. A few plays later, Anthony Pozzetti found Avvakumovits in the end zone to put the Pioneers up 7-0. Later in the first quarter, Cupertino went on another drive. This time Pozzetti threw a perfect pass on 3rd and long hitting the streaking Avvakumovits in stride for a 53 yard pass play down to the 1 yard line. Edison Espinoza took it in from there to put the Pioneers up 14-0. But the Comets didn’t go away quietly. They went on an impressive drive of their own capped off by a 3 yard touchdown run by Mac Dual, one of two touchdowns on the night for the Comet senior. Late in the first half, James Lick got the ball back with just under two minutes to play. But any hope of a tying score was snuffed out by Brenden Cote, who registered two sacks in the series to end the half with the Pioneers holding a 14-6 lead. 
The third quarter was dominated by the Pioneers, with Edison Hernandez carrying the heavy load. Dylan Schutz had several important carries gaining critical yards and Pozzetti connected with Avvakumovits on multiple third down plays to keep drives alive. Hernandez put the Pioneers up by two scores with his second TD of the night, a 4 yard carry into the end zone. But the Comets refused to capitulate. An interception by Cesar Pangayan set them up on the 40 yard line, and three minutes later Mac Dual scored his second TD of the night making it a 21-14 game. A subsequent interception deep in Comet territory by Anthony Garcia set the stage for a possible tying score. But on 4th and 13 from their own 37, James Lick tried a fake punt that came up just inches short, and the Pioneer defense held. The Pioneers then salted the game away with a time-consuming drive featuring several runs by Edison Hernandez, and culminating with an Anthony Pozzetti 1 yard TD run. Marcos Anton booted through the extra point – one of four on the night – capping off the scoring and earning the Pioneers a 28-14 victory. 
Coach Oswald, while pleased with the win, had mixed feelings on the Pioneers performance. “We left a lot of points out there” lamented Oswald. “some poor execution, as well as perhaps some bad play calls on my part hurt us,” the self-deprecating Oswald added. “But our defense showed up well, especially the defensive line”. When asked about which players stood out in tonight’s game, Oswald extolled the defensive play of Morgan Saenz and Brenden Cote, and recognized Avvakumovits’ big day on offense. Cupertino has a bye week upcoming, but then travels to the East Side to play Overfelt. “That will be a big test for us” stated Oswald. “They’re the biggest most physical opponent that we will have seen; much improved from recent seasons”. This will be the final non-league game prior to the league season getting underway. 

Taking the field
Photographer Alexander Nelson

Anthony Pozzetti and the offensive line
Photographer Alexander Nelson

Kyle Avvakumovits
Photographer Alexander Nelson
Edison Hernandez
Photographer Alexander Nelson

CHS: 7,7,7,7:  28
Lick: 0,6,0,8:  14
Scoring plays:
1st: CHS: Avvakumovits 12 yard reception from Pozzetti (Anton kick)
2nd: CHS: Hernandez 1 yard run (Anton kick)
James Lick: Dual 3 yard run (kick failed)
3rd: CHS: Hernandez 4 yard run – (Anton kick)
4th: James Lick – Dual 2 yard run (2 point conversion good)
CHS: Pozzetti 1 yard run (Anton kick)
Top players:
Edison Hernandez: 19 rushes for 96 yards and 2 TD’s
Kyle Avvakumovits 8 catches for 187 yards and 1 TD
Anthony Pozzetti – 196 yards passing, 1TD pass; 18 yards rushing 1TD rush
James Lick: 
Mac Dual – 2 TDs rushing, 2pt converstion