Rajahs bow before Titans

Tahquitz delivers major shutout against visiting Indio, 61 – 0

Photo by Corey Evan/The Valley Chronicle
The Titans celebrate their victory over the Rajahs with a team photo.

■ By Corey Evan / Reporter

Depending on who you ask, Tahquitz and Indio high schools are totally different worlds. Those two worlds collided at Titan Canyon last Friday Aug. 24, for a game of football.
The Titans received the kickoff from the Rajahs, which went almost all the way to the snack bar the way the Rajahs kicked it. But from the 20 yard line at the Rajahs’ end the Titans stormed back and scored the first touchdown of the night, with Antoine Sullivan delivering for the boys in green within the first 90 seconds. The Rajahs in blue, with the wind at their backs, could not make their move and Tahquitz recovered control. This gave Robert Young the window of opportunity he needed to double their score at the 5:06 mark. The Rajahs fumbled a play at 4:08 and gave the ball once again to Tahquitz. Young grabbed the Titans’ third TD of the evening with 2:23 left in the quarter. The Titans recovered the fourth kickoff of the evening, and with 1:08 left Doug Osoimalo got a fourth Titan TD. And that was just the first quarter!
Tahquitz lost some momentum going the second quarter, with the first three minutes passing quietly. But then Kyle Breckenridge injected spirit back into the game with the Titans’ fifth TD of the evening, followed by Osoimalo with the two point conversion. The Titans almost had a sixth, before penalties and a fumbled pass gave control back to Indio. But a fumble out of the end zone by the Rajahs gave the Titans a “safety” and two more points with 4:31 left in the half. 28 seconds later, Jayson Pate achieved that sixth Titan TD. With just 1:02 left before halftime, Elijah Grayson snagged Tahquitz’ lucky number seven. Santiago Lemus kicked in the extra point. By halftime, the Rajas were feeling a little blue.

Photo by Corey Evan/The Valley Chronicle
Action shot taken during Friday’s game between Tahquitz and Indio.

Tahquitz cheerleaders put on a quick little show for the Indio cheerleaders, who joined them on the sidelines for halftime, per local tradition. The Titan Marching Band then treated everyone to a rather jazzy lineup. This also made for the perfect opportunity for students to give shoutouts to friends and family, or at least plug themselves for homecoming court.
With the clock running, Indio took control of the ball to start the second half, only to lose it just as quickly as they got it. Mike Jones took advantage of this two minutes in, to bring in number eight for Tahquitz. With the extra point, Lemus brought the total to 54. The Titans’ defense helped secure a ninth with 4:30 left in quarter three. Going into the final quarter, the Rajas’ frustration became abundantly clear. Fans on both sides of the canyon could sense that Indio’s boys were not on form this first week of their season, as evident by fumble after fumble as the clock ran down to zero. For the Rajahs, it was a disaster, 61-0 in favor of the Titans.
This being his first home game as head coach, Stephon Pace is happy to get off on the right foot. “It starts with trying to change the culture, and the kids came out and played hard. They played fast and did what we asked them to do, which was attack. As long as they continue to grow, we’ll be fine.”
What were Pace’s thoughts on Indio? “It’s football; You can never tell because this (was) their first game.”
This win means Tahquitz are now 2-0 for the season, while Indio starting out 0-1.

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