Santa Cruz Falls to the Defending League Champs

The Cardinals had no answers on offense or defense for the Aptos Mariners in the league opener and loss big in a 41–0 blowout on Friday night.


The Aptos Mariners couldn’t have received a better house-warming gift after they trounced the Santa Cruz Cardinals, 41–0, in their homecoming game on Friday night at Trevin Dilfer Memorial Field.

The Cardinals (0–5, 0–1) suffered yet again another shut out – lost to North Salinas 35-0 last week – and their fifth straight loss this season, this time in the league opener to the defending Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League champion Mariners (3–2, 1–0).

Aptos quarterback Alex Joh completed only two of his three passes, however, both of them were good for touchdowns in the first quarter and that’s what started the snowball effect for the Cardinals.

After the Mariners took a 13–0 lead with 4:14 left in the first, coach Randy Blankenship sent out the rush attack and let 12 of his players touch the ball 53 times for 362 yards along with four touchdowns.

Aaron McAnerney contributed 83 of those yards on seven carries and his teammate Brodie Bennet tacked on 61 yards on seven carries with 2 touchdowns. It was also a hurry-up offense that helped Aptos maintain an upbeat tempo that tired out the Cardinals defense.

Aptos had a very comfortable 35–0 lead going into halftime and during the break the 2012 homecoming queen and king were announced. This year’s winners were Nikki Hiltz and Joey Aliotti aka the Italian Stallion and both ironically on crutches.

The Mariners defense continued to do their job in the second half and only allowed a total of 72 yards on 29 carries by Santa Cruz.

The Cardinals passing game was no better as backup quarterback Drake Fennelly completed three of his nine passes and Ashtyn Davis threw an interception on a running back pass attempt to Brandon Laguna.

Bennet put a nail in the coffin after he scored his second touchdown of the night with 4:16 left in the third quarter to make it a 41–0 blowout at this point.

The Cardinals hope to rebound next week and hope to get a one in the win column when they play at home versus San Lorenzo Valley (3–1, 0–0) on Friday night at 7:30 p.m.

As for the Mariners, they look to continue their SCCAL dominance when they face the St. Francis Sharks also on Friday night under the lights at 7:30 p.m. at Cabrillo College.   





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