Calabasas drops season opener to Crespi

Matthew Shapiro, Staff Writer

There were plenty of bright spots to be found in the Coyotes’ 59-43 loss to Crespi Carmelite last Saturday. In his Calabasas debut, quarterback Tyler Ward threw for three touchdowns and 224 yards, while also using his legs to get in the endzone on a six-yard TD.

Wide receiver Jaylen Blizzard scored the first Coyote touchdown of the night on a 28-yard catch. He finished the game with six catches for 80 yards and the touchdown. Blizzard dazzled in all areas as he also returned kickoffs for a total of 153 yards, including a spectacular 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. 

Offensive Coordinator Meyer Linter decided to use a running back by committee, giving the majority of the carries to Aaron Butler and King Miller. Butler, a freshman and younger brother of senior wide receiver Amoni Butler, had 12 carries for 85 yards. Miller, a sophomore, had 15 carries for 69 yards and a touchdown.

Junior wide receiver and defensive back Steven Rauso was excellent on both sides of the ball. After a crowded wide receiver core held Rauso back for his first two years of high school, the junior had three catches for 76 yards and two touchdowns. On defense, he had eight tackles and one pass deflected.

“The whole team has worked so hard for over a year preparing for that game. It felt great to be out there, even if we did not get the results we wanted,” said Rauso. 

In addition to Rauso, senior Kweli Hernandez had 11 tackles and sophomore Domata Peko Jr. had four tackles, a sack, and a tackle for loss.

Although Blizzard’s 95-yard kickoff return was a special teams highlight, sophomore kicker Sean Stepenosky went 4/5 on extra points with a 26 yard field goal in his football debut. 

The Coyotes will look to get their first win of the season next week against Birmingham on Friday, March 26th.