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Varsity Football Falls Behind the Raiders 49-3

Lindsey Thomas, Men's Sports Editor

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Will Jennings '18 fake hands the ball off to Jaikem Murphy '18.

In the Warriors’ final in-district game, the Warriors fell behind the Cedar Ridge Raiders 49-3. For both teams, the coaches agreed upon taking out starters after the first half, in order to prevent any injuries from occurring before their playoff game next week. Although the Warriors suffered this immense loss, they will be ready to take on the San Marcos Rattlers in their first round playoffs.

“What we were doing is we were giving our kids the opportunity to play,” head coach Anthony Wood said, “and so when you play you want to see the same executions, the same effort level and the Raiders came out played a great game and played us better than we played them.”

To jump start the game, the Warriors received the ball first. Cameron Thomas ‘18 received the first pass of the quarter for a first down. For the next few plays, starting quarterback Will Jennings ‘18 handed off the ball to Jaikem Murphy ‘18. As the Warriors pushed for a first down, the Warriors unfortunately fumbled the ball, but were bailed out by Dom Hume ‘18 with a clutch recovery. Although the Warriors did not gain the first down they needed, they were forced to punt the ball across the field to the Raiders, where they then scored the first touchdown of the game. After receiving the ball after the return, Murphy ran the ball from their own 24-yard line to the 32-yard line. To finish off the quarter, Luca Mazzola ‘19 took down a Raider receiver downfield on the 44-yard line, ending the quarter at 14-0.

With the Raiders still in possession of the ball for the beginning of the second quarter, Mazzola had a great take down again when he launched himself onto the Raiders receiver on the 10-yard line. After the inevitable touchdown by the Raiders, Murphy caught the ball on the return and ran to the 23-yard line. After many carries by Murphy, Jennings was forced to attempt a hail mary on the second down to Thomas. “That’s a great job,” coaches kept saying to Dylan Frazier ‘18 after his immaculate catch on the third down for a first down, and again on his next catch sliding close to out of bounds. In an attempt to crawl closer to the end-zone, Jennings continued to hand off the ball to Mario Debs ‘19. As the time creeped closer to the end of the half, the intensity was well perceived as coaches began to yell “get back on your feet” to the players. On the fourth down, the Warriors were forced to kick a field goal. When the offensive line was on the bench seconds before the half, Coach Allen spoke to the offense,” you do not give them a chance to get through,” in an effort to keep the boys’ heads still in the game. Soon after, Brandon Kothlow ‘18 ripped a Raider receiver out of bounds, rallying up the crowd. To keep the stands even more on their feet, Ethan Brown ‘19 ended the half with a sack on the Raiders quarterback (35-3).

“I have executed four or five sacks this season, and that sets a tone that we want to be there and we are willing to sacrifice for each other to get out common goal,” Brown said. “It is an awesome feeling to contribute to something bigger than yourself, and know that what you are doing is making a difference.”

At the half, the Warrior band invited the eighth graders onto the field to perform We Got the Beat in their final performance for in-district games.  

With the Raiders still in possession of the ball, they had a false start, which resulted in a five yard penalty on the Raiders. On their second down, Brown pushed the Raiders running back, back five yards to the 40-yard line. With considerable attempts to keep them from gaining yards, they were forced to punt the ball back to the Warriors 23-yard line. The Warriors continued to run the ball, until having to punt the ball back to the Raiders. To finish out the quarter, Riley Beckham ‘20 executed stunning blocks, ending the quarter at 35-3.

For the first play of the final quarter, the Raiders scored two times before the game had ended at 49-3. The Warriors executed great hits by Beckham and beautiful catches by Mohan Hegde ‘19.

“I don’t think we played good on offense or defense tonight,” Coach Wood said. “I don’t think we played up to our abilities. I thought that we had the ability to play better and I don’t think we played what we were capable of playing. We are going to go back and fix some things for playoffs, and find some things that we think we perform better on.”

The Warriors (5-5) will be facing off against the Rattlers (9-1) in first round of playoffs in a non-conference game on Nov. 17, at the Rattler Stadium at 7:30 p.m.. Go Wood.

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