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U-Prep shuts out Clear Lake 15-0 in Game of the Week

The building of program is a slow process. Only three weeks into the season, the Panthers are showing they’re advancing a little bit quicker than usual.

U-Prep’s defense pitched a shutout against Clear Lake Friday night in a 15-0 win in the Redding Rancheria Game of the Week. (Photo by Mike Daly).

PALO CEDRO – The building of program is a slow process. Only three weeks into the season, the Panthers are showing they’re advancing a little bit quicker than usual.

Dylan Cabral and Trayton Laustalot hooked up for two long touchdown throws and U-Prep’s defense pitched the seventh shutout in school history in a 15-0 win over visiting Clear Lake at Foothill High’s Bill Johnson Community Stadium on Friday night in the Redding Rancheria Game of the Week.

The Panthers twice won three straight games last year and now have back-to-back wins coming off a 28-21 victory over Live Oak to raise the confidence level for the squad.

“It’s a change from the first week but I think we got it,” U-Prep senior Gabe Jurin said. “Every single game from now on is winnable so now I think we can steamroll it all through.”

U-Prep is in a crowded Division III where it is one of seven teams with two wins in the young season. A double-digit victory looks nice but the Panthers left a lot of points on the field. U-Prep marched into the red zone five times in the first half and didn’t come away with any points – something head coach Darren Trueblood said will come with experience.

“We’re making a lot of mistakes and are still trying to figure out who we are but we’ll clean up our end of the bargain,” Trueblood said. “We’ll get that down and be better.”

U-Prep couldn’t capitalize on great field position on its opening drive, missing a 31-yard field goal. On the ensuing possession after Jordan Miller recovered a fumble, Cabral connected with the 6-foot-2, 175-pound Laustalot on a fade in the left corner of the end zone for a 34-yard score.

“We started behind in our throw-game and you can see that because we were inside for 10 days because of the fire,” Trueblood said. “These two are giving us a shot; they give us a chance to score from anywhere on the field. It saved us tonight.”

U-Prep’s defense tacked on a safety for a 9-0 lead with seven seconds remaining in the opening quarter. Clear Lake snapped the ball over the punter’s head and into the end zone where Bret Asdourian downed him for two points.

It was a dominant night for the Panther defense, who held the Cardinals to 22 first-half yards and 130 total. Clear Lake’s only first down in the first half came on the last play of the second quarter.

U-Prep’s Dylan Cabral runs the ball against Clear Lake Friday night in the Redding Rancheria Game of the Week. (Photo by Mike Daly).

“It’s awesome to get a shutout and nothing to take away from their offense but we played great,” said Jurin, a linebacker. “We owe it to our d-line.”

U-Prep scored its final touchdown on its second drive of the third quarter. Damon Uribe ripped off a couple of big runs and Cabral pump-faked a screen to Laustalot and floated a 29-yard touchdown pass to him in the right corner of the end zone.

“Dylan puts the ball where it needs to be,” said Laustalot, who caught two passes for 65 yards and the two scores. “He’s a good quarterback. One the second one, he did a fake screen and knew the corner would bite. He knew exactly what to run and read that great.”

U-Prep’s defense took over the rest of the game. It tightened up after allowing the first play in the Panthers’ territory and stalled a 14-play drive. Clear Lake turned it over on downs against midway through the fourth, allowing for U-Prep to run the clock out.

Cabral finished 8 of 19 passing for 103 yards and the two scores and had four yards rushing on eight carries. Riley Seay was the Panthers’ leading rusher with 62 yards on 11 carries and added a 16-yard reception. Uribe turned four rushes into 29 yards and Cole Abel tacked on 19 tough yards on six attempts.

T.J. is a national-award winning journalist passionate about local news and telling the story no one else knows about. He’s roamed sidelines, baselines and bleachers in the North State since 2010 and is a content producer from sunup to sundown. Sports are a hobby he shares with his wife Tracy where they’ve spent many dates around a field or court of some sort.

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