Santa Teresa’s stellar defense shuts down Overfelt’s high-powered offense

SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 22: Santa Teresa's Jayden Arevalo (4) throws against Overfelt High School in the first quarter at Overfelt High School in San Jose, Calif., on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)

SAN JOSE — There may have been all zeroes showing on the third-quarter clock when he intercepted a dying Overfelt pass, but Joshua Reyes had all the time he needed to make a play.

The senior ran down the right sideline, and just as it seemed as if he would get forced out of bounds, he slipped away from a few defenders before falling into the end zone for Santa Teresa’s final score in their 23-6 win against Overfelt.

“When I got the ball, all I saw was open field,” Reyes said. “I just took off with it, pick-sixed it.”

The host Royals looked like a far cry from the team that had averaged over 10 yards a carry and 22 yards per reception in the first four games of the season.

Instead, they seemed barely capable of holding onto the ball for more than three or four plays at a time before a Santa Teresa defender would pick or strip it away.

Santa Teresa (3-2) had seven takeaways.

SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 22: Santa Teresa’s Jayden Arevalo (4) throws against Overfelt High School in the first quarter at Overfelt High School in San Jose, Calif., on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group) 

“They played harder than we did,” Overfelt coach Carlo Maningo said. “We’re going to bust our (butts) in practice because now we’ve got the taste of that first loss.”

After a grueling first quarter that saw infinitely more timeouts (four) and turnovers (three) than points (none), Santa Teresa scored the only points of the half when Jeffrey Kerr grabbed a fumble around the 30-yard line and ran it back 70 yards for the score.

A few minutes later, defender Joseph Tapia picked a pass off to end another Overfelt drive.

Santa Teresa’s offense wasn’t prolific by any stretch, although it had some success cycling through Jayden Arevalo, Tapia and Brenton Gaches at quarterback.

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Most of their passes went to senior receiver Noah Gardere, who broke the game open in the third quarter.

Following an Overfelt safety after a high snap went far above the punter’s head, Gardere went 50 yards on a screen pass to put Santa Teresa up 16-0. Gardere had 129 yards on eight catches and could’ve had more if a slick jump-ball touchdown hadn’t been called back.

“Once I saw them coming for me, I knew I had to make a move,” Gardere said of his long touchdown, “and I had to do whatever I could to score that touchdown.”

SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 22: Santa Teresa’s Noah Gardere (5), right, celebrates his touchdown with Santa Teresa’s Ian Quintero (9) against Overfelt High School in the third quarter at Overfelt High School in San Jose, Calif., on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group) 

Overfelt (4-1) could never find those few big plays Santa Teresa could, although it should be noted that Overfelt’s defense got its fair share of interceptions and turnovers on Homecoming Night, too.

Slot receiver and defensive back Micaiah Wood had one of those picks, and safety Walter …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Latest News

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