By Ray Hamill — The Corsairs will try to get back to winning ways when they travel to the Bay Area for the second straight week for a non-conference showdown at Cabrillo.
The Santa Cruz school comes into Saturday’s game at 2-2 and riding a two-game losing streak, falling 31-24 at Reedley College last weekend.
The Corsairs, meanwhile, have had an up-and-down season, and have yet to win or lose two straight.
Last weekend, they fell 42-34 at De Anza, the Pacific 7 Conference frontrunners, and at 2-3 (1-1 in conference) they have shown plenty of promise in 2018 with a high-octane and balanced offense, as well as a defense that continues to give up too many points.
They are at the very least an exciting team to watch, with a couple of wild encounters thus far.
Hicks leading the way
With the exception of the Hartnell game, the Corsairs have done a good job moving the ball on offense, with a balanced attack featuring several playmakers.
A talented group of receivers have garnered much of the attention this season, but in the backfield Elijah Hicks had quietly had a very productive season.
Hicks leads the conference with 92 yards a game rushing, and has four TDs in his five starts, a co-conference high.
A trio of CR receivers also feature predominantly among the conference leaders.
Zacharry Loveland is third among receivers with 93.6 yards a game, followed immediately by teammates Micha Fontenot-Cornely (91.3) and Marcus Finney (84.2).
Finney also has six receiving TDs, second best in conference, while Loveland has five, third best.
That gives the CR quarterbacks plenty of options in the passing game, while the consistent threat from Hicks opens things up and makes it difficult for opposing defenses to focus in on any one aspect of the CR offense.
At quarterback, with Brody Lucero out, Alex Adams and Moise Francois are each expected to see playing time again this weekend.
Francois was limited last week in a 42-34 loss at De Anza after picking up a slight hamstring injury late in the previous game, but Adams was solid, completing 18-of-32 for 271 yards and two TDs.
He also had a pair of picks, but one came late on a desperation play.
The Corsairs’ offense appears to have seen little drop off since Lucero went down with a shoulder injury in week three, at least not in the past two games.
Defensively, the Corsairs have been giving up 37 points and 515 yards a game.
Teams have been particularly effective against them through the air, putting up 363 yards a contest.
Fatu Tuitasi leads the team in tackles with 32, followed by Chriss Giacomozzi (31) and Dakota Moore (30).
Lineman Teejay Tome is tied for third in conference with 5.5 sacks, just half a sack behind the two leaders, and has a team-high 12.5 tackles for a loss.
Defensive back Juan Villafan leads the team with two interceptions.
Productive Cabrillo running game
The Seahawks feature a balanced and productive running game, but have struggled passing the ball.
In their four games they have rushed for an average of 231 yards, led by a trio of freshmen, including Cory Glasgow, who leads the team with 350 yards and four TDs.
Freshman Josh Baron has seen the majority of snaps at quarterback, but has completed just 37 percent of his passes for 502 yards, three TDs and five interceptions.
So offensively, Cabrillo won’t present the same challenge a high-flying De Anza unit did a week ago.
Cabrillo, however, has a fairly balanced lineup throughout, with a solid defense and some playmakers on special teams.
The Seahawks are allowing 125 yards a game rushing and 259 through the air.
On special teams, they have a pair of dangerous returners, including freshman Ladale Combs, who is averaging 30 yards on six returns.