Late in third quarter on Friday night in Palo Cedro, Calif., Spanish Springs sat on a 33-26 lead over Foothill.
Then the dam broke.
“The wheels fell off,” third-year Spanish Springs coach Eric Borja said.
The other Cougars drew even right before the fourth quarter then snared an interception on Spanish Springs’ side of the field the following possession. Foothill scored a handful of plays later to jump in front, 40-33.
The two teams then traded empty possessions. Spanish Springs forced a punt inside four minutes to go and was going to get the ball back with a chance to drive and tie the game.
Foothill jumped on the loose ball and scored on the very first play of the new possession with a fade to the end zone. Ballgame.
“It was a growing process,” Borja said. “You never want to give up that many points.”
Korbin Marcum completed 18-of-30 passes for 289 yards and a touchdown. He found has favorite target, Austin Cadenhead, was busy.
Cadenhead caught nine passes for 125 yards. He also returned a kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown, he six kicks for 210 total yards.
Maleik Lariviere caught Marcum’s lone touchdown, a 68-yard bomb.
As a team, Spanish Springs ran for 96 yards on 27 carries. Borja said the final numbers were reduced by a number of holding penalties.
Casey Preston ran for 35 yards and a touchdown on five touches.
The Cougars (0-1, 0-0) will try to bounce back on Friday against Douglas (1-1, 0-0) in the home opener.