El Camino won their first game of the year against the Cleveland High School Cavaliers, defeating them 20-6 on Oct. 6. El Camino was the underdog going into the night and was expected to start the season with an 0-6 record. Cleveland was 2-3 going into the game hoping to get back at .500 after losing brutally to Rio Mesa, 44-7, the week before.
Defense was put on display for both teams as neither team was on the scoreboard going into the half. Coming out of the half, the Conquistadors were energized from the first play. El Camino was the first to score in the third quarter after Giovanni Navarro completed a 10-yard touchdown pass to Tyjai Fulford to put the Conquistadors up 6-0. The two-point conversion would be failed.
Navarro would only finish with seven completions for 62 yards while completing 50% of his passes.
Cleveland would strike next, early in the fourth quarter from a 16-yard touchdown pass by Takashi Drayton but a blocked PAT by Fulford would keep the score tied at six.
Darrien Green picked up the incompleteness of the passing game for the Conquistadors and rushed for 199 yards and a crucial fourth quarter touchdown pushing El Camino up by seven halfway through the fourth quarter. In total, El Camino would rush for 241 yards posting for over 300 yards of total offense.
Later in the fourth quarter, while Cleveland was trying to come back in this game, Fulford would once again intercept Drayton and would take it back all the way for a pick six to put El Camino out of reach by a score of 20-6. Drayton would finish with four total interceptions going to Dupree Fuller, Alayo Harris and two of them going to Tyjai Fulford.
Elco’s defense would shine with five total takeaways and only giving up six points, their lowest amount of points given up on the year. Ryan Costa and Dupree Fuller would lead the Conquistadors defense with eight and a half tackles a piece.
“It was a necessary and crucial victory if we were going to defend our West Valley League championship,” head coach Jeff Falgien said. “It had to start tonight as Cleveland was the first league opponent we faced.”
“We played all elements of the game,” Falgien said when asked about what he really liked about the way his team played. “Offense, defense and special teams; all of them contributed to the victory.”