By Aram Tolegian, SGVN
Anyone thinking the Los Altos High School football team’s performance last season was a fluke, merely an inheritance of riches by a new coaching staff, is getting clear proof so far in 2012 that there was nothing accidental about it.
The Conquerors are back at it, despite a bevy of new faces. Los Altos improved to 2-0 on Friday by beating a talented Salesian team on the road, 48-34.
Estuardo Marcos was the catalyst, returning two kickoffs for touchdowns, scoring on a rushing play and taking a fumble in for a score. All totaled, Marcos had 213 yards in kick returns and another 84 on the ground on 16 carries.
But it hasn’t been just about Marcos this season. The Conquerors had only one returning starter on offense, a lineman, entering the season. One of the area’s best offensive backfields had to be entirely replaced.
“Salesian was an extremely, extremely talented team,” Los Altos coach Dale Ziola said. “They play in Division 13, but those guys they have on their team were legit Division I prospects, at least five or six of them.
“You get into a game like that, I’m thinking `We’re Division 7 and they’re Division 13, we’re supposed to win.’ But then you see all those guys they have and they can beat anybody on any given night.”
Los Altos began the season by routing three-time Mission Valley League champion Arroyo, 33-6. After beating Salesian, the Conquerors are now heavily favored against arch-rival Wilson on Friday.
“Until we play a perfect game, I won’t know exactly where we stand,” Ziola said. “But our kids have certainly shown a ton of heart. I’ve heard some things about Wilson early on and it sounded like they were in trouble. But I saw some film and they really get after it. I’ve never seen a team sprint to the football the way they do before a play.
“They’re going to give us their A-game and we’re going to have our hands full Friday night.”
Huskies moving on
Chino Hills coach Derek Bub has seen the photo and video showing Bishop Amat receiver Darren Andrews getting credited with a catch on what looks to be an incomplete pass. That set up the game-tying score for the Lancers moments later. But Bub isn’t about to blame the referees or let his team dwell on the call.
“The game’s over, it is what it is,” Bub said. “If our kids don’t leave it in the hands of the referees and we play a better football game, then we don’t have to worry about that. It’s a moot point. The refs do the best job they can.
“That’s not how I saw it at the end of the game there, but that’s not how they saw it. It’s just one of those things.”
Perhaps the reason Bub is so anxious to move on is because his team will need all it’s got against another Pac-5 Division opponent in Tesoro on Friday night.
The good news is the game is at home and Boise State-bound receiver Jack Austin figures to be 100 percent for the Huskies. The bad news is that Tesoro (2-0) is considered by many to be one of the top teams in the Southern Section.
“We’ve got to come back and play,” Bub said. “I keep preaching this, every week we want to play in a playoff atmosphere. In the Sierra League, every week you have to get up.”
Austin gives Huskies standout quarterback Matt Simko another weapon to work with after the emergence of Joseph Lara and Chazz Eldridge.
“It’s a big impact,” Bub said. “He’s another kid who provides that ability to catch the football down the field. And I think Matt Simko is playing pretty good football right and we’re able to run the football a little bit.”