Everything was going Cascade’s way Friday night against visiting Monrovia in all three phases of the game.
Sophomore Zac Butler returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown. The defense held Monrovia out of the endzone and senior Zach Batts forced a fumble and returned it 97 yards for a touchdown. Cascade’s offense also scored, putting the Cadets up 21-7 in the second quarter.
Cascade was driving for another score, but fumbled the ball and gave Monrovia time to catch its collective breath. Monrovia would ride a strong second half effort to down the Cadets, 36-28.
“When we get up on somebody, we’ve got to put them away and not let them hang around,” Thompson said. “We have to put people away when we have the opportunity.”
Monrovia scored near the end of the first half, capitalizing on a Cascade fumble and pulled the game to 21-13.
Thompson said Cascade “came out extremely flat in the second half” and Monrovia scored on its opening drive.
Cascade stopped the two-point try and were still ahead 21-19.
That’s when the miscues started with penalties and a poor snap and the Cadets faltered from there.
What went right in the opening two quarters went wrong in the third and fourth.
The offense came up with only one more score, while the defense allowed 23 second-half points.
“We tackled very, very poorly and against a team that runs the ball like Monrovia does… we just didn’t pursue at times,” Thompson said.
While there were some down points to the Cadets’ effort, there were some things Thompson liked, and the play of his quarterback Sawyer Donovan was one of them.
“Sawyer had a nice game throwing the ball,” Thompson said. “ He did a fantastic job.”
Donovan hit Chris Howard for the Cadets’ only second half points.
In Thompson’s second year of taking over the program, these are teaching moments for a program getting back on its feet with younger players.
“We preach to be disciplined all the time,” he said. “Kids are going to make mistakes and we are going to turn the ball over some, but obviously we want to keep that to a minimum.”