Casa Grande 51, Eureka 13: Lawson, Porchivina lead the way

By TED SILLANPAA
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

PETALUMA — Casa Grande quarterback JaJuan Lawson passed for 187 yards, while John Porchivina ran for 184 and two long touchdowns as Casa Grande High opened the football season with a 51-13 win over Eureka on Friday.

Lawson completed 16 of 26 passes for 187 yards and two touchdowns. He scrambled 10 yards for a score after Eureka had taken an early 6-0 lead.

Porchivina had just 31 yards on nine carries in the first half against a stout Eureka defense. He swept right end on the third play from scrimmage for a 61-yard score. Later, he ran around left end and raced 82 yards for a touchdown.

Porchivina’s second score was followed by the fourth Matt Abramo extra-point kick to give the Gauchos a 34-6 lead with 4:55 left in the third quarter.

Eureka’ lone score during a competitive first half came when nationally-ranked 400-meter star and quarterback Alexis Robinson sped 80 yards down the Casa Grande sideline in the first period to give the Loggers a brief 6-0 lead.

“We knew their quarterback is a sprinter so we geared our defense to stop him,” said Casa Grande head coach Trent Herzog. “Eureka ran a different offense than what we prepared for so we made some adjustments and the kids did a really good job after early, first-game jitters.”

Lawson admitted he wasn’t totally on the mark to start either.

“We started off shaky,” Lawson said, “but we came back and made adjustments. Their defense got to us early but our offensive line did a great job in the second half.”

Eureka’s defensive demise came after the Loggers’ 6-foot-1, 215-pound senior middle linebacker, Colin Jackson, was injured.

“Without Colin there, everything changed,” said linebacker Tyson Miller.

“We’ve got a new coach and we’re doing new things. We made too many mistakes. It really hurt us to lose Colin.”

First-year coach Jason White’s Loggers couldn’t sustain a drive in the contest that, during the first half, appeared destined to be anything but the blowout it became.

“It wasn’t so much changes they made,” said two-way line star Jake Harrison after the loss. “We just turned the ball over way too much, made mistakes. We’re learning a new offense. We ran sort of Wing T last year. We need to execute better.”

Eureka did stop Casa Grande twice after the Gauchos got first downs inside the 10-yard line.

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