By KIEL MESSINGER
Football looks for a fresh start after finishing pre-season 0-5 after losses against Katella and Segerstrom High School. The game against Katella took place on September 14, and resulted in a 0-36 loss, and the game against Segerstrom was on September 21, and finished 20-64.
“The non-league is behind us… we are looking at it as a fresh start for us,” coach Scott Meyer said.
Meyer is hoping that the added pressure of playing at the upcoming homecoming game will inspire the team.
“It’s homecoming so I’m hoping we come out and play the game of the year,” Meyer said.
Senior Daniel Fernandez is also looking forward to the game.
“I’m excited to see how the games gonna be this Friday because we’ve been preparing this offseason,” Fernandez said.
The offense struggled against Katella, as senior quarterback Thomas Keeling completed only six of his 16 passes for 29 yards and one interception.
“Offensively we struggled and put the defense on the field too often… We got to improve our blocking: both run blocking and pass blocking,” Meyer said.
The defense stepped up against Katella with multiple big plays, including a big interception from senior Austin Lake. Many defensive players contributed to their performance, as senior Ethan Bell totaled eleven tackles, and junior Salah Balkis, junior Noah Powell, and senior Joshua Cunningham all recorded a tackle for loss.
“I thought we improved a little bit on defense… we got lined up correctly, we tackled a little bit better, and we played a little bit more physical,” Meyer said.
Going into the Segerstrom game, Meyer had some plans to improve the offense.
“We are going to add a couple new formations, and a couple new plays, and just continue to work with our offensive linemen to both run block and pass block better,” Meyer said.
The offensive was clear against Segerstrom, as Keeling completed 19 passes for 198 yards, and a touchdown to senior Jared Harlan, and senior running back Eddie Castillo ran eleven times for 65 yards.
“We threw the ball pretty well, [but] we had about ten dropped balls, and that could have really helped us offensively,” Meyer said.
The Trojans were also missing many starters, including Powell, junior Noah Nejad, and senior Logan Niemann, but the team did not give up. They were replaced by sophomore Jacob Min, junior Joshua Thai, and Cunningham
“Even though many of our players were hurt, our team still fought to the end,” Thai said.
Members on the team were also impressed by the team’s mentality.
“I liked that we didn’t give up in the Segerstrom game,” Fernandez said.
Coach Meyer was happy that the replacements were able to contribute, especially on the offensive line.
“We had some guys who stepped up and played hard… Considering their lack of experience, we thought they did a pretty good job,” Meyer said.
The team will need players to continue to step up as season begins against Northwood on September 28.