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Stephanie Shih

After receiving a pass, Luca Mazzola ’19 looks upfield.

Varsity Football Faces Off Against Rouse Raiders In Scrimmage

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In the Warriors’ first scrimmage of the season, they fought against the Rouse Raiders, but lost with a score of 17-10.

Many seniors left the varsity team last year, so the team has fresh faces playing at the highest level for the first time. While they were not perfect, head coach Anthony Wood believes they will improve over the course of the season.

“For a first scrimmage I thought the game went just as planned,” Coach Wood said. “You know, we made some mistakes, but it was an area that I can see that we can absolutely improve on. We had a lot of young guys out here for the first time playing varsity football so the things that I saw were pretty common for first-time varsity football players.”

The scrimmage began with both teams switching possession every five plays instead of playing out whole drives. On defense, the Warriors stuffed most of the Raiders’ run attempts and even racked up several tackles to set the Raiders back. The offense struggled early, but they ended up scoring a touchdown on a 10-yard reception by Ian Cox ‘19. On special teams, Damon Harris ‘19 recovered a blocked field goal and took it all the way for a touchdown.

When it was the Warriors’ turn to kick, Jack Elliott ‘19 was perfect, making all four of his attempts. This was Elliott’s first varsity football game, as the last time he played football was in seventh grade.

“I was super nervous about it, but all the guys [and] the coaches put a lot of faith into me so that really helped my nerves,” Elliott said.

The second part of the scrimmage consisted of the two teams playing two quarters of a live scrimmage.  In the first quarter, both teams had a slow start but after a couple possessions and a score by the Raiders, the Warriors were able to get a drive going. As a result of a first-down run by Nate Anderson ‘21, followed by a first-down pass from RJ Martinez ‘21 to Matt Pravednikov ‘19, Elliott was able to successfully kick a field goal.

In the second quarter, the defense was threatened a couple of times by the Raiders’ offense. Despite that, they hung in there and managed to limit a promising possession for the Raiders to only three points. A big part of that was a crucial run stuff by Zach Hoover ‘19. On the offensive side of the ball, the team finally broke through with a 40-yard run by Robbie Jeng ‘21. A few plays later, Martinez ran the ball into the end zone for the Warriors’ first touchdown. Unfortunately, the Warriors were unable to score again before time ran out.

“I think we did pretty good for our first scrimmage, but we can always do better,” Jeng said. “It felt good to get that big run because I screwed up on a play before it so getting that one back felt good.”

Martinez thought that they played very well and will be even better in the future with a little more practice and preparation together.

“I think it was pretty great, definitely lots of areas of improvement that we have to have but I think that we did a lot of good things considering it’s been almost a year since we played our last game,” Martinez said. “It will be pretty interesting to see how we grow throughout the season and we’re definitely going to be ready for our first game on next Friday.”

Connor Cooper ‘20 agrees that the team played well and looks forward to the season ahead of them.

“Defensively, I think that we did really well for our first scrimmage,” Cooper said. “We executed well for the most part, we just got to work on our anger management but overall we’re looking really good. I’m really excited for this year. I think that we have a really good future, we just need to execute more, get better, and we’ll be fine. I feel like we’re going to be a really hard team to compete with.”

The Warriors will improve as the season progresses, taking on the East View Patriots on Aug. 31.

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