College of the Redwoods

‘Much improved’ Corsairs win on the road despite key injury

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College of the Redwoods overcame a couple of early deficits to win their second game of the season at San Jose on Saturday afternoon.

The Corsairs scored 33 unanswered points on the way to a 40-20 win over the Jaguars and are now 2-0.

Head coach Jason White described it as a better overall performance compared to last week’s season opener, but it wasn’t all good news for the team.

Starting quarterback Max Hough went down with a back injury early in the game and back-up Shane Purcell took over.

The Arcata High graduate struggled a little early on, throwing a pick-six as the home team opened up a 13-6 lead.

But Purcell would settle into the game and enjoyed a solid start to his CR career, completing 13 of 30 passes for 193 yards, two TDs and the one interception, while also running in for a TD.

“We had to put Shane in and Shane started a little slow,” White said. “But he picked it up. He settled in well.

“It was a great opportunity for him to grow as a player and he definitely came along as the day went on.”

One of his touchdown throws went to Hoopa’s Carlos Aguilar, who scored his first college TD early in the third quarter.

Aguilar caught a slant, broke outside and out-ran the San Jose defense on a 37-yard play that came at a key time of the game and put the Corsairs up by 18.

“That was a huge play,” White said. “It kind of sealed the deal.”

Purcell also threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to receiver Anthony Aguirre to give the visitors an eight-point lead at the break.

Aguirre finished with a team-high five catches for a team-high 74 yards receiving and has now scored a touchdown in each of the first two games.

Tyse Whigham

Hough scored CR’s first touchdown on a two-yard run to tie the game at 7-7 in the first quarter, while running back Emmanuel Igbonogwam added a 13-yard TD run in the fourth quarter.

The CR special teams and defense had outstanding afternoons.

Kick returner Mason Priddy, who teams rarely even kick to anymore, had four returns for 148 yards to consistently give his offense good field position, while kicker Ryan Thomas added a 27-yard field goal.

Priddy also had an interception and has clearly carrie this all-region form as a freshman into his sophomore season.

Linebacker Tanner Forker, a former Del Norte Warrior, led the defense in tackles again with eight total and also had an interception, while St. Bernard’s graduate Dominic Kofi had to fill in on the line for the injured Reece Hare and “stepped up and played well,” according to his coach.

The ever-consistent Tyse Whigham also had another good game along the line, while Braden Snoderly also impressed at linebacker while filling in for the injured Chase Steubing, who is expected back next week.

Ferndale’s Lane Branstetter also continue to play well in the secondary and “made some plays,” according to his coach.

The biggest improvement, however, was the team offense, which quickly put a sloppy season-opening performance behind them.

“Offensively we really cut down on the mistakes,” White said. “It was much improved.”

The Corsairs, however, didn’t run the ball effectively, averaging just 1.9 yards on 35 attempts.

Igbonogwam led the ground attack with 33 yards on 19 carries, while Levi Nyberg had 22 yards on four carries and Levi Cox-Cooley added 17 yards on five carries.

As for Hough’s injury, White said he will know more on Monday.

The Corsairs play West Hills next weekend at the Redwood Bowl.

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