RIVERSIDE – September was not good for the Riverside Poly football team, as the Bears scored a total of 14 points in their three unbeaten games against King, Ramona and Sultana.
The calendar went back to October, and the Bears rediscovered their winning ways.
Poly gave a homecoming crowd to cheer about Saturday night, scoring a touchdown in the first six possessions towards routing Canyon Springs 42-7 in an Inland Valley League game.
The Bears (4-3, 1-0 in the league) opened the season with back-to-back wins against Hillcrest and Arlington before enduring a foot three game loss. Poly got back on track with a 41-6 win over Citrus Hill on Oct. 1.
“I think it really comes down to experience,” Poly coach John Rice said. “We’ve been playing for about 12-15 years, and they have to grow fast. We’re very good as a team.”
Did Cloake IV complete 14 of 23 passes for 239 yards and two touchdowns, and he added a touchdown to the ground to lead the offense. Taejon Henderson ran for three touchdowns.
“The offensive line does a great job and the recipients become open, and it makes my job easier,” Cloake said. “We’re working hard to reduce our timing.”
Poly’s defense forced a three-and-out in the opening possession of the game, and then the offense worked. Michael Luna started things off with a 27-yard run from Wildcat form, and Cloake connected with Henderson for an 18-yard draw. Henderson scored on a 6-yard run to get the Bears to the scoreboard.
Henderson added a 13-yard scoring run later in the first quarter to extend Poly’s advantage to 13-0.
Canyon Springs (3-3, 0-2) is relying on running backs from JoJo Castellanos and Elijah Gonzalez in Saturday night’s game. The duo delivered some large runs, but the drives eventually stopped without making points.
Cloake threw touchdown passes to Larry Morris (47 yards) and Bailey Brown (35 yards) in the second quarter to help Poly increase that lead to 28-0. Henderson found the end zone for the third time, a 3-yard plunge with 1:13 left in the half to extend the lead to 35-0.
Poly’s offense continued with its sensational start to the second half, driving 62 yards in nine games for the sixth consecutive touchdown of the night. Cloake made the awards through a 16 yard scramble in the middle.
Canyon Springs avoided a shutout when Castellanos scored with 3:34 left in the game. Castellanos ran 101 yards on 22 carries, and Gonzalez added 59 yards on nine carries.
Brown finished with seven receptions for 111 yards and one touchdown. Ben Medure and Talan Samosky intercepted a pass for Poly’s defense.