Estancia High football Coach Mike Bargas said he challenged his team leading up to Thursday's 42-14 Orange Coast League victory over Godinez. He wanted a big special teams play and Matt Carlyle delivered, helping spoil the Grizzlies' homecoming game and keep Estancia in first place.
The senior's 92-yard kickoff return for a touchdown late in the second quarter gave the Eagles a 14-7 halftime lead. And, though Carlyle had another kickoff return for a touchdown called back on the second-half kickoff, fellow senior Cameron Collins had a 51-yard kickoff return just minutes later.
That got the ball to the Godinez 40-yard line, giving Estancia momentum in what was then a 14-14 tie. The Eagles (3-4, 2-0 in league) went on to score touchdowns on each of their next four possessions.
"That's big when you get special teams as a little bit of a weapon, too," Bargas said. "We had some blocks up front, and Matt and Cameron have some good little speed. That was huge. I wouldn't call our kids fast but they play smart."