CARSON -- Many wondered how the Campolindo High football team would stop Washington Union-Fresno receiver Deontay Greenberry in Saturday's California Interscholastic Federation Division III state championship bowl game.
And, although the Cougars ultimately lost 21-16, the score wouldn't have been that close had Campolindo's defense not displayed a tremendous effort against the Notre Dame-bound wideout.
Dan Fadelli found himself matched up on Greenberry for most of the game and did a fantastic job in holding him to 57 yards on four catches. Greenberry, who is 6-foot-3 and 195 pounds, did catch an early touchdown pass to put the Panthers up first, hauling in a 26-yard jump ball that he plucked over the head of two defenders.
"That was an amazing play. I thought I had an interception," Campolindo safety Griffin Piatt said. "I should've knocked it away, but he made a great play."
After that, the Panthers had to find other ways to beat Campolindo than simply lofting the ball to their best player. Mason Windatt grabbed two interceptions for the Cougars.
"He's got size, he's got the hands, he's got everything," Piatt said. "We put Fadelli, our best man-to-man corner, on him, and I was kind of cheating to that side to get over the top and deflect some balls."
The strategy wasn't a surprise for Washington Union, but that didn't stop the Panthers from trying to get the ball down the field. Time after time, the ball went downfield,
"It's what we've seen all year," Panthers quarterback Chris Cain said. "They just did a better job of it than most teams would. They had athletes in the secondary. They're just a good football team."
Greenberry did set some significant records Saturday. The touchdown was his 33rd of the year, extending a record he set a few weeks back when he passed Monte Vista's Bryce McGovern's mark of 29 set in 2009. He also upped his state record for receiving yards in a season to 2,165.
The Campolindo defense as a whole performed well, allowing just 77 passing yards and forcing three turnovers. Vince Graziano had 11 tackles from his linebacker spot.