Could one player change the dynamics of a game? That debate is for another time.
If the Taft varsity football team were to answer that question Friday night, though, the answer would be yes after the Exeter Monarchs and Austin Cardoza handed the Wildcats a 41-16 loss in Taft.
While Exeter won the game, it was the Wildcats that got off to a fast start when they scored the first touchdown of the game at the 7:10 mark of the first quarter.
However, Cardoza scored the first of his five touchdowns late in the first quarter. Exeter took over from there by scoring 24 points in the second quarter with Cardoza scoring three of the four touchdowns.
Taft bounced back in the third quarter with a touchdown and a safety but it was not enough.