TEMPLETON – Friday Night Lights returned to the Central Coast this weekend with much anticipation, as all three North County teams traveled to play their open season. The Templeton Eagles and Paso Robles Bearcats were able to start their season at home in front of a few fans, while Atascadero traveled to Arroyo Grande for a last minute game against the Eagles.
THS Eagles defense against Wasco photos by Rick Evans
Templeton enters this season as a new member of the Mountain League after sailing in the Ocean League in 2019 and winning its first championship since 2005. Not only did the Eagles break the Ocean League record, but they also had two top players as juniors in quarterback Tyler Kaszczewski and running back Josh Byrne. Kaszewski and Berna are side-by-side in the backfield again this spring and are already giving defensive coordinators nightmares, as Friday night they combined for over 300 yards and five touchdowns.
A year ago, the Eagles picked up where they left off, scoring in each of their first four semifinals. While the Eagles are capable of long, consistent moves, they don’t need to do it often like Wasco. Templeton opened the scoring for the first time on a 15-yard run by Kaschewski, who easily kicked the ball away and proved too quick and elusive for the Tiger defense.
THS cheerleaders at their first football game of the season in a year.
Pictures of Rick Evans
On the next play, the second play of the game, Berna took a pass, put his foot down and sprinted right through the heart of the Wasco defense for a 37-yard touchdown, and the Eagles were stopped. On the third drive of the night, the Eagles decided to take to the air. Kaszczewski sent a bubble screen to Cale Loppnow, who was ahead of everyone at the pylon, but was stopped at the one-yard line. Berna scored in the next turn and Templeton took a three-point lead before hitting another three-pointer and going into halftime with a 25-0 lead.
After a nearly perfect first half, the Eagles faltered a bit in the second half, with Vasco desperately launching himself into the air. Templeton, who is very young both offensively and defensively, has produced some explosive game situations, but has gained much-needed experience against Mountain League passive offenses, including St. Louis. St. Joseph’s.
- Tyler Kaschewski
- Josh Berna
I loved the way we played. They’ve never been a pitching team, this is the most they’ve ever pitched, and we’ve never seen them do much, Templeton coach Don Crow said after the game. All of our receivers and defenders are new. We have sophomore players, so a lot of dopes are under fire today, but the important thing is that we are getting better at watching film.
At the final whistle, the Eagles went home with a 39-22 victory and some valuable lessons for future development. Kaszczewski finished with 164 yards and three touchdowns on 20 runs, narrowly beating fellow running back Berna, who ran for 160 yards and two touchdowns on 24 runs.
Templeton plays one more game this Friday before opening the brutal Mountain League schedule against a familiar rival, Morro Bay. Due to complications at COVID-19 with Righetti’s football team, Templeton had to move his game with the Warriors and will now play on the 30th. April to welcome Righetti in his final game.
Tyler Kaszczewski, the Eagles THS quarterback, finished with 164 yards on the ground and three touchdowns. Photo: Rick Evans
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