The Chaffey College Panthers finally made their long-awaited debut under new coach Rob Hadaway. They lost on the road at Santa Monica 30-27 but the new boss was not discouraged.
“There are always negative when you lose but the negatives we had are things that can be fixed,” he said. “You’re never happy with a loss but we did a lot of good things and we’re excited about moving forward.”
The first thing the new coach must be excited about is the play of his backfield. Freshman quarterback Dimitri Morales (Rancho Cucamonga HS) was 17 for 28 for 179 yards, one touchdown, no interceptions.
Better yet was the rushing game, an area where the team has not looked good the last few years. Not only did the Panthers have a player rush for 100 yards – they had two. Michael Boyd (Rancho Cucamonga HS) had 159 with two touchdowns while Jamie Snowten (San Gorgonio HS) had 144 and a touchdown. The team totaled 338 yards on the ground.
“That’s definitely one of the most encouraging things that came out of this game. We were able to run the ball,” Hadaway said.
Freshman safety Dearmie Streets and freshman linebacker Lenier Lee led the defense.
Penalties have always been an issue for Chaffey. But they had 79 on 10 calls, another area of significant improvement.
Chaffey will makes its home debut on Saturday against Antelope Valley (0-1) at 6 p.m. Antelope Valley had a bye last week but lost its opener two weeks ago against San Bernadino Valley.