Monterey Trail’s Bishop Brown had three catches in the first half Friday at Del Campo. Two of those catches were from Del Campo quarterback Tyler Dimino. Brown ran that third catch back 80 yards for a score and later had a 58-yard catch and run for a score to lead the No. 17 Mustangs past the No. 16 Cougars 35-21.
The Mustangs took advantage of six Cougars turnovers, including four in the second half, to post their second impressive victory to start the season. The Mustangs beat Wilcox of Santa Clara 40-14 last week.
“I was surprised that he (Dimino) kept throwing over the middle, because our film had them throwing quick outs to the sidelines,” Brown said. “So I just kept reading his eyes and stepped in front.”
William Madsen, a defensive lineman, also stepped in front of a pass and took it back 31 yards for a score.
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Dimino, a junior and the son of Cougars head coach Mike Dimino, struggled in the home opener. The Cougars relied on Greg Cabral and his 358 rushing yards in a win over Merced last week. On Friday, Del Campo went to the air and struggled against a blitzing Mustangs attack. Dimino finished just 8 of 24 for 83 yards and four interceptions. He fumbled twice as the Cougars tried to get back into the game. They led briefly, 14-13, at the start of the third quarter after a nifty direct-snap fake punt to David Joseph, who ran it in for a 41-yard score.
But from there it was all Monterey Trail.
On his 58-yard bomb from Holt, Brown said the play was really simple: just outrun the defensive backs and we’ll throw you the ball. That’s what he did, and Holt threw him the ball.
“Holt is our leader,” Brown said.
Holt attempted just four passes, but why pass when running the ball has been so efficient? He led the Mustangs’ ground attack with 90 yards on six carries. Sam Williams added 70 yards and Aztlan Lopez had another 52 yards to help chew clock and keep the Mustangs’ offense on the field.
Monterey Trail prides itself on being in better shape than its opponents. The Mustangs have to be. With just 28 players, head coach T.J. Ewing expects his players to be hard workers in the weight room and stay smart at the dinner table.
“Coach Ewing runs us to death,” Brown said. “We don’t cut guys. Our workouts are so rigorous that guys cut themselves. If you can’t roll with us during practice, how can you roll with us during games?”
Mark Billingsley is a Carmichael-based freelance writer. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or @editorwriter001.