Cougars roar to first win of season with ‘Major’ comeback

Steele Canyon junior running back Major Givens broke through for 235 rushing yards and three touchdowns to lead the Cougars to their first win of the season, 29-23, at San Marcos High School last Friday night.

After dropping their initial two games of the 2021 high school football season by a total of five points, the Steele Canyon Cougars obviously had a point to prove: they were deserving of being in the win column.

The Cougars indeed came out victorious in last Friday’s non-league outing at San Marcos High School. The third time proved to be the charm, though it took a monstrous fourth quarter rally to finally reward the team with a much desired 29-23 win.

Junior running back Major Givens broke loose for a signature 245-yard rushing performance while scoring three touchdowns along the way as Steele Canyon (1-2) recovered from a 23-7 fourth-quarter deficit to post the victory with 22 unanswered points in the final quarter.

Givens scored twice in the final 10 minutes to rescue the Cougars from a pending third consecutive loss. He scored on a 31-yard run to narrow the score to 23-21 but the two point conversion failed.

Steele Canyon got the ball on its next drive at its own three-yard line, but the Cougars continued to gain ground through the steadfast running of Givens, who bolted 27 yards to the San Marcos three-yard line to set up the go-ahead touchdown.

Jacob Manzo was successful on the two-point conversion run to put the visitors ahead by six points. They made that margin of victory stand up.

Sophomore Matthew Barton completed a 45-yard pass to senior Nathaniel Gillis to set up Given’s first touchdown of the game on a three-yard run.

The Cougars got back in the game on a one-yard scoring run by senior Eric King and a two point conversion pass to junior Keanu Pettiford (from King) to trim the once imposing San Marcos lead to 23-15.

Junior Adrien Chargualaf notched seven tackles on defense and also had a key 39-yard punt return to help set up Steele Canyon’s first touchdown in its dramatic fourth-quarter comeback.

Despite trailing for the majority of the game, the Cougars actually outgained the Knights (0-3) in total offensive yardage.

Steele Canyon will seek to extend its winning streak to two games when it visits perennial power St. Augustine (0-3) on Friday. The schedule gets even tougher when the Cougars host the Lincoln Hornets (Sept. 17) and Cathedral Catholic Dons (Sept. 24) in back-to-back encounters.

Cathedral Catholic (2-1) is currently ranked first among teams in the San Diego Section while the Hornets (2-1) are ranked second.

Steele Canyon is ranked 23rd in the section, 15th among Division I teams; St. Augustine is ranked 20th in the section, 13th among Division I teams.

Cougars roar to first win of season with ‘Major’ comeback

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