YUCCA VALLEY — The Lightning varsity continued its quest for an unprecedented four-peat, defeating the Cate Rams 42-12 Friday.
In 2011, the Rams could not handle the Lightning, losing 48-0 in their season opener.
After a scoreless first 10 minutes Friday, the Lightning knew this year’s Rams were different, tougher mentally and physically than in the previous season.
Jacob Husband broke the drought, scoring from 2 yards out, and a Max Renforth conversion put the Lightning up 8-0.
The lead shrunk after a touchdown by the Rams, but a touchdown pass from Joe Leichtner to Ryan Green gave the Lightning their halftime lead of 14-6.
After an inspirational halftime speech by several coaches, the Lightning came out ready to fire off in the third, but the Rams continued to be a tough challenge. A 63-yard run by the Rams’ quarterback offset a Leichtner touchdown run, and the Lightning led only 20-12 entering the fourth quarter.
In a span of four minutes to open the quarter, Renforth scored twice, from 11 yards and 39 yards out, and Husband punched in another short touchdown to bring the lead to its final of 42-12.
For the second straight game, the Lightning gained over 200 yards rushing without a single 100-yard rusher.
This game, Renforth led the way with 94 yards, scoring two touchdowns and three conversions.
Leichtner rushed for 57 yards and a score, throwing for 54 yards and one touchdown. Leichtner has yet to throw an interception this season.
Husband did the dirty work, rushing for 49 yards. Each carry yielded between 1 and 8 yards, but was significant, gaining multiple first downs and touchdowns. Husband also earned a sack on defense.
Ryan Green led the way in receiving, catching three passes for 41 yards and a touchdown, while also blocking a kick on defense.
Defensively, the Lightning forced three turnovers and earned three sacks.
Sophomore Jeff Bachman caught an interception for the second straight game, to go with five tackles on the night.
Seth Roses made five tackles also, to go along with two interceptions. He would have had a third interception, but it was called back due to penalty.
Kaleb Wezdenko added another sack to his impressive Lightning career, as did Bobby Barajas and Jeff Sherman.
Even with all the scoring, the most exciting moments of the game came midway through the fourth quarter. On back-to-back plays, Joe Leichtner and Jeff Sherman sniffed out shovel passes by the Ram offense, leaving the receivers defenseless.
Both players took the opportunity to excite the crowd, “laying the wood” on the ball carriers. Leichtner’s hit dislodged the ball and earned a collective “boom!” from the crowd.
The game ended on a high note after such a rough beginning, and that is exactly what the Lightning hope for this season, as they are now 2-0.