BY JOHN MURPHY
REDLANDS — The Beaumont High football team opened play in the Citrus Belt League in style Saturday, defeating Redlands 58-12.
It was Beaumont’s maiden CBL game following the releaguing process and came against a charter member of the league which played for a section large-school title 60 years ago.
But there is precious little time for the Cougars to celebrate, as they prepared this week to host defending CBL champ Cajon at 5 p.m. Saturday, March 27.
“We had a game plan and we put in a lot of hard work and it was fun to be back on the field after a long layoff,” Beaumont coach Jeff Steinberg said.
The Cougars scored on a 16-yard run by David Williams with 8:07 left in the first quarter and added a 37-yard touchdown pass from Michael Cruz to Gabriel Nunez roughly four minutes later to seize a 14-0 lead.
Beaumont led 32-0 at the half.
Sophomore running back Armando Cuellar carried the ball 16 times for 152 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Cougars (1-0).
He had scoring jaunts of 25, 52, 35 and one yard.
“It felt good,” Cuellar said. “The line did a good job. It was getting me two yards (of daylight) and they weren’t touching me.”
Said Steinberg of Cuellar, “He’s fast and explosive and coachable. He’s a terrific kid.”
Beaumont’s offensive line of Deegan Seymour, Antonio Flores, Joe Peukert, Ethan Ramirez and Jesse Cortez gave backs like Cuellar and Williams (69 yards on seven carries) room to ramble.
Quarterback Cruz also came out firing and completed 12 of 18 passes for 115 yards and two touchdowns to help lead the Cougar offense.
Nunez had two of those scoring receptions and seven catches in all for 86 yards.
Defensively, linemen Venny Herrera, Kevin Palacios, Adam St. Pierre and Edgar Hasibuan; linebackers Nathaniel Poch, James Brown, Sevith Kraut and Moises Gomez; and backs Zeke Valdivia, Steven Valencia-Reyes, Mark Vanderwoude and Williams suffocated Redlands.
The Terriers gained just eight yards rushing and were held to six yards through the air.
Williams had a 30-yard interception return for a score that put Beaumont ahead 26-0 with 11:12 left in the second quarter.
Redlands’ offense did not score as the Terriers tallied on a 45-yard fumble return for a touchdown by Lamar Ashley and a 99-yard kickoff return for a TD by Dashawn Cox.
“I challenged the guys to get better,” Terriers coach Mike McFarland
said of his post-game chat with the Terriers. “This was the first varsity experience for a lot of them and we were a step slow on offense and defense.”
This week’s game will be a more difficult challenge for Beaumont, which faces a Cajon program that is just four years removed from winning section and CIF-Southern California championships and playing in a state title game.
John Murphy may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .