The coaching staff at Cate School has been trying to alter the running style of Khadim Pouye for the past three seasons, and the senior finally heeded their advice.
Pouye scored three times, including a pair of runs in which he ran over would-be tacklers, in the Rams 61-6 victory over the Wildcats Saturday afternoon at Peck Field.
“We’ve been telling him all year to run the way that we vision he can,” coach Ben Soto said. “You see the specimen he is. I tell him ‘you’ve got everything you need to be a power running back.’
“He’s big and he’s strong, and now he’s starting to get it — if he lowers his shoulder. You’re going to get tackled, that’s inevitable, and you might as well deliver the blow and don’t stand straight up and take the blow like he did against Orcutt and the other teams,” Soto said. “Now he’s starting to figure it out and you saw what happens — he lowered his shoulder and he put a couple of guys on the grass.”
The Cate defense forced a three and out on the opening drive and the offense drove the ball to the Wildcats’ one yard line. The Rams fumbled the ball back to VP near the goal line, though on the very next play Chris Tarafa tackled the ball carrier in the end zone for a safety.
On the free kick, Pouye ran through and around defenders on his way to a 60 yard score to make it 9-0 with 8:05 left in the first.
The Rams defense continued to cause problems for the visitors, forcing another punt before Will Bouma connected with Mason Oetgen for an 11-yard touchdown with 2:03 left in the first quarter. Bouma and Oetgen would link up again for a 31-yard touchdown with 5:52 remaining in the first half to give Cate a 22-0 lead. With 2:42 left in the half, Will Deardorff caught a pass a few yards past the line of scrimmage and made several tacklers miss on his way to a 49-yard touchdown to make it 28-0.
“He’s so good,” Pouye said of the junior skill player. “I’ve been playing with Will since middle school at Crane and he’s always been really good.”
Deardorff had six catches for 100 yards – all coming in the first half.
“He has moves and he’s tough too,” Soto said of Deardorff. “He’ll hit you if you want to hit – he’s not afraid to mix it up. He’s elusive. He’s like the little kindergartner when you’re playing flag football and you can’t catch him. He’ll run every which way and he’s a good athlete.”
Villanova Prep got on the board with 1:32 to go in the first half when Nicolas Yberri scored on a 58-yard run. On the ensuing kickoff, the Wildcats attempted an onside kick that was recovered by Callum Casey, who took it 42-yards for a score give the Rams a 35-6 lead at the break.
Cate was able to work in some of their underclassmen in the second half, though it was the senior Pouye who provided the offense punch with a pair of touchdown runs. On his second touchdown run, he took a handoff and ran over four defenders on his way to a 29-yard score to make it 48-6 with 4:03 left in the third quarter.
“I’m like on and off with it,” Pouye said when asked about his running style. “But today, I don’t know why, but I was like ‘I’m doing it’ and I think the bye week helped us all get healthy and it was perfect.”
Pouye finished with 40 rushing yards on three carries. Sophomore Ethan Ligon had a team-high 65 rushing yards on eight carries.
John Endres added a one-yard touchdown with less than six minutes to play and Will Anderson returned a fumble 23-yards to cap off the scoring for Cate.
The Rams (4-2, 1-0 in Mt. Pinos League) outgained the Wildcats (4-2, 0-1) 361 to 143 in total offense. Cate scored on six of its eight offensive possessions in the game. Bouma finished 12 of 16 passing for 194 yards – all in the first two quarters.
It was parent’s weekend at Cate School, and the players gave them plenty to cheer for.
“I’m glad that the kids got to play in front of their parents and that their parents got to see that all the sweat, and all the time that they’re putting in – and to see the kids come out here with a smile on their face,” Soto said. “Hopefully (the parents) know that the lessons that the kids are learning will help them outside of football. I know they’re doing a good job, I’m very happy.”
As Soto addressed the team postgame, the players were joined by their family members and everyone was part of the final team break — a fitting conclusion to the weekend.
The Rams will travel to Faith Baptist next week. The Contenders (6-1, 1-0) defeated Thacher 54-50 Oct. 12 and won 78-14 over Mammoth Friday night.