Christian Brothers not pleased with performance in victory over winless Capital Christian

Nathan Uebelhoer/Special to The Bee

It was fumbles galore at Capital Christian on Friday night, though the eight combined turnovers between the two teams didn’t stop Christian Brothers from pulling away to win the Capital Athletic League contest, 42-19.

It was homecoming night for hard-luck Capital Christian. The winless Cougars went into halftime within striking distance, trailing by one point against the defending champions. The Falcons haven’t lost a league game since 2021 and they have overcome injuries this season to remind they intend to return to the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division III finals.

The opening score for CB came on a 58-yard fumble return by junior linebacker Adrian Davis. The Falcons then followed with a touchdown from sophomore quarterback Deakon Holden to junior receiver Isaiah Jordan, two rushing touchdowns by junior running back Daniel Kamara, a pass from senior William Littlejohn to senior Sammie Outlaw-Baldon and a 46-yard blast from sophomore back Jay Cummings.

Grabbing three fumbles and two interceptions gave the Falcons offense the platform to widen that gap against the Cougars. Despite the big win, Falcons coach Larry Morla wanted more from his team.

“We can’t be making those mistakes,” Morla said to his team after the game. “Don’t be out here celebrating this win. There’s a ton of work to do. We let them take the lead in the second half. That should not be happening. We’ve got to be better.”

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Morla said he expects his team to get into a winning mindset. Sloppy play won’t cut it, he said.

“We just have to start our games at a high level,” Morla said. “These past few weeks we’ve been playing way down from where we should. We can’t be making little mistakes out there. This is a game that we should be putting our all in and be able to give our backups reps. That didn’t happen tonight.”

Morla emphasized that his team does have the ability to become a powerhouse. He said that’s why teams like Capital Christian are scheduling their homecoming night against them to try and give their players a boost.

“Next week it’s Rio Americano,” Morla said. “That’s an undefeated team, and they have very high confidence. But next year, we’re moving up into Division II, and if we want to compete at a high level that I know we can, we have to beat teams like that and put in better performances against teams like Capital Christian.”

Morla is an alum of Christian Brothers, graduating in 2008 before returning in 2015 to coach track and football. He became the head coach of the football team in 2021. He takes his roles seriously and expects his players to do the same.

“We want to compete for a title every year,” Morla said. “We hadn’t won a title in six years, so that was a big deal. But I think we need to stay hungry and keep the mindset of winning if we’re really going to make this program big in six, seven years.”

Senior center Yonathan Cervantes said that Morla keeps the team close.

“He makes sure that we’re all really communicating with each other,” Cervantes said. “We have a group chat and we always make sure to spend time outside of practice to be able to build that trust that you find in winning programs. If we don’t spend the time to do things like that away from just games, we will never get the chance to win.”

Morla said a big part of his group runs track in the offseason if they’re not playing baseball. Now, the Falcons have 10 consecutive league wins. They are 5-2 overall this season with a last-minute loss to Pleasant Grove and a tough loss to rival Jesuit in the Holy Bowl. CB hosts Rio Americano, off to its best start in nearly 30 years, for homecoming next week.

Capital Christian’s loss brings the Cougars to 0-6 overall. Coach Aaron Garcia said his team needs time to grow. He took over as head coach after years as an assitant the day before fall camp.

Capital Christian’s touchdowns came on a pass from senior Max Ellison to junior receiver Titus White, freshman linebacker Kurtis Brown’s fumble recovery in the end zone and freshman quarterback Hayden Ussery’s pass to White for his second score.

“It’s such a transition period,” Garcia said. “I feel bad for them because they’re not used to losing like this. So much has gone on and, unfortunately, the kids are paying the price.”

Capital Christian was thrown for a loss before the first game. Lineman Trevor Loveall collapsed in the team’s preseason scrimmage and was hospitalized. Loveall has since recovered, but he will not play football.

“We have to make some improvements,” Garcia said. “But we’ve been here before, and when we get through this, the future is going to be very, very bright for these kids.”