H-FRIDAY NIGHT HIGHLIGHTS

Nov 24, 2012 3:14 AM by Andrew Masuda

Atascadero's postseasone run ends with 37-6 semifinal loss

The Atascadero High football team's Cinderella postseason run ended on Friday with a 37-6 loss to West Torrance in the CIF Northern Division semifinals. The Greyhounds turned the ball over five times, including on their opening drive of the game. Atsacadero played its first CIF semifinal game since 1996.

West Torrance, which upset St. Joseph in the first round, improved to 10-3 on the season. Atascadero, which entered the playoffs with a 4-6 record, finished 6-7 overall under head coach Vic Cooper.

"I'm extremely proud of where we were and where we've come to. The end result of tonight's game may be a little negative, but I'm proud of the way the guys fought and the way they rallied for each other and the way they sent the seniors out on a good note," said Cooper, who's team knocked out the top seed Palmdale and Canyon during the postseason.

West Torrance forced Jonathan Torres to fumble on Atascadero's first possesion of the game. The Warriors' quarterback Joey Notch, who also plays defensive back, recovered it and turned it into a 6-0 lead with a 31 yard touchdown pass to Dane Silverlake a few plays later. The Warriors led 9-0 to start the second quarter after a 32 yard field goal. They added to it on a 2 yard run by Barry Thomas and led 17-0 after a two-point conversion.

Atascadero scored its lone touchdown on a 13 yard run that included a great second effort from Torres. The Hounds went for two, but could not get it and trailed 17-6 at halftime. The closing minutes of the first half included a fumble by quarterback Robbie Berwick as he was getting taken down in the backfield.

The Warriors quickly scored on their opening possession of the second half with a 28 yard touchdown pass from Notch to Silverlake to make it 24-6. They added a 2 yard touchdown run from Hunter and then Notch returned an interception 54 yards to give West a commanding 30-6 lead. West scored 20 points in the third quarter and added another TD in the fourth quarter to seal the win.

Torrance's defense dominated all game long and forced five turnovers. Boise State recruit Mat Boesen had four sacks in the first half and recovered two fumbles. Notch finished with 180 yards passing and 2 TD passes to go with a fumble recovery and a pick-six. Thomas rushed for 127 yards and 2 touchdowns on 26 carries.

Berwick fumbled a snap at the Torrance one yard line that the Warriors recovered. The Warriors also forced and recovered a late fumble after a nice gain by Izaiah Cooks. Berwick, a junior, finished with 161 passing yards and one interception. Cooks, a junior, finished with 54 yards rushing to lead the Greyhounds, while sophomore Ethan Hicks added 21 yards rushing.

West Torrance advances to play Palos Verdes in the Northern Division title game next Saturday.

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