Sage Hill falls to 0-3

High School Football

Lightning can't get much going and loses to Capistrano Valley Christian Friday night.

September 08, 2012|By Ian Massey

In their 11th season, Sage Hill School's football team is off to its first 0-3 start in program history. Sage was manhandled on Friday, losing, 30-8, to nonleague visitor Capistrano Valley Christian.

With sophomore quarterback CJ McCord out with a broken arm, Sage's passing game struggled. Senior Harrison Ray stepped in McCord's place, completing just three of nine for 19 yards in the first half, but ended the night nine for 17 for 76 yards, along with an interception.

The two teams hadn't squared off since 2008, so Capistrano Valley reintroduced itself by putting on a passing clinic for Sage. Led by senior quarterback Riley Babick, the Eagles scored four touchdowns through the air. Just five minutes into the game, Babick tossed an eight-yard touchdown pass to freshman receiver Ben Sukut.


"That No. 3 is a freshman and he may be the best receiver we see all year," Sage Hill Head Coach JR Tolver, San Diego State University's all-time leading receiver, said of Sukut.

Babick connected for another touchdown pass in the second quarter, hitting senior tight end Luke Stevens on a 31-yard dump and run to make it 14-0.

With Capistrano Valley starting to pull away, Sage relied on tailback Joe Melita's legs to keep its hopes alive. Melita, who began playing football as a sophomore, originally started his football career as a kicker. In just his third game as a running back, Melita compiled 133 yards on the ground on 15 carries in the first half alone.

Just two minutes before halftime, Sage increased its deficit by two as the Lightning's long snapper launched the ball over junior punter Will Burns' head and out of the end zone for a safety.

Things went south as an already short-staffed Sage squad had five players come up with injuries in the second half. Senior cornerback Charlie Kim injured his right ankle in the third quarter. The very next play, senior Thomas Fenner was on the turf.

"That's what a family is all about," Tolver said of the injuries. "Hopefully our young guys take advantage of the opportunity to play."

Babick found his tight end, Stevens, again for a five-yard touchdown pass with six minutes left in the third quarter.

Two minutes later, Babick connected for a 30-yard score with freshman Shae Martinez on the receiving end. To end the evening, the six-foot-one inch, 212-pound CVC quarterback threw for his weight – 212 yards.

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