H-SPORTS

Nov 13, 2012 7:40 PM by Andrew Masuda

Off and running after upset, Greyhounds prepare to host quarterfinal

After pulling off the biggest upset in all of CIF last week, Atascadero High high football is preparing to host a second round playoff game. The Greyhounds are all business this week after they upset undefeated Palmdale, the #1 seed in the Northern Division, 26-7 in the first round.

Atascadero is 5-6 on the season after finishing fifth in the Pac 7 League and receiving an at-large berth in the postseason.

The Hounds face 8-2-1 Canyon in the quarterfinals. The Cowboys routed San Luis Obispo 42-9 in the first round. Quarterback Cade Apsay, a junior, thew for 246 yards and 3 touchdowns, while Dominic Pennucci tallied 139 yards rushing on 14 carries. The Cowboys are a pass-oriented team. Last week, senior Drew Wolitarsky caught 9 catches for 128 yards and 2 touchdowns. The 6-3 receiver set the state record last week for career catches with 271. He already was the state's all-time leader in receiving yards. He has 85 receptions for 1,237 yards and 14 touchdowns this season alone. Apsay has thrown for 3,185 yards this season and 38 touchdowns to just 11 interceptions.

"They throw the ball a ton. They score a lot of points. They've given up a lot of points early in the year. It seems kind of like us they're playing a lot better defense the last couple of weeks so it's going to take a full effort," said head coach Vic Cooper.

The Greyhounds played their best game defensively of the season last week. The Hounds forced several key turnovers in the second half they capitalized on with points. "We're not the team we were ten weeks ago. We're not just going to stand there and take a beating. We're going to come hit you in the mouth," said senior linebacker Hunter Stemper, who has 76 tackles and 2 interceptions.

The Hounds entered the playoffs coming off a 16-14 loss to rival Paso Robles. But the Greyhounds say last week's upset is just the start of what they hope is a long postseason run. "I think it's coming together well. I'd say ya, we're peaking. We're getting to the top where we need to be," said senior lineman Chad Vering.

Kickoff at Atascadero High is at 7:30 pm on Friday. Atascadero is in the second round for the first time since 2010 and is trying to advance to the semifinals of CIF for the first time since it won a title in 1996.

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