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Penalties Crucial in Football’s Homecoming Loss

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By KIEL MESSINGER
Staff Writer

Football kicked off their first league match with a 12-29 loss to Northwood in the Homecoming game.

The result was largely due to the team’s lack of discipline, especially on the offensive side of the ball.

“I thought that we were much improved in our run game but really hurt ourselves with penalties,” head coach Scott Meyer said.

Members of the team agreed with this sentiment.

“We really need to work on our discipline… flags were being thrown everywhere which hurt both teams last night,” senior Jared Harlan said.

Harlan was on the receiving end of the Trojan’s only passing touchdown, as senior Thomas Keeling had 17 completions for 127 yards, a touchdown, and two interceptions, both of which were returned for touchdowns.

“I think we made some critical mistakes this game that we need to clean up for next week at Portola,” Keeling said.

However, the offense still showed their potential.

“[Offensively], we were unable to make big plays happen. Holes in the offensive line, dropped passes, and interceptions definitely hurt us. But whenever everyone did their job correctly, we showed that we had the better offense,” Harlan said.

Losses on the offensive line had plagued the Trojans throughout the preseason and continued to impact the offense against Northwood.

“Linemen were injured so we didn’t have much depth on the offensive line,” junior Noah Nejad said.

Though the team was disappointed with the loss, there were many improvements made, especially defensively.

“Our defense played their best game of the year… I thought [senior] Mike Bush played his best game on defense,” Meyer said.

Members of the team also praised the defense.

“Our defense did a solid job holding their offense on big plays. They were able to stop them from converting on fourth down several times,” Harlan said.

The running game also showed improvement.

“We ran the ball the best we have all year on offense.  [Senior] Eddie Castillo and [junior] Branton Lucas stood out,” Meyer said.

This was reflected in the statistics, as Castillo ran 15 times for 88 yards, and Lucas ran 14 times for 50 yards and a touchdown.

Castillo believed that the referees contributed to the team’s loss.

“The scoreboard didn’t tell the whole story. I think that as a team on offense and defense we stuck to the game plan and it was working in our favor, but the referees giving us very unnecessary flags that changed the momentum and outcome of the game,” Castillo said.

Looking forward, Lucas believes that everyone on the team has a lot to work on.

“The game was a rough loss… we just need to improve on all aspects of the game. I feel like I can run harder and make better cuts than I did on Friday night. There’s a lot we all need to improve on,” Lucas said.

Other members of the team also believe the team just needs to clean up minute errors.

“We just have to work together as a team at practice and improve some of our little mistakes,” Nejad said.

The team hopes to make these changes before the next league game at Portola on October 5.

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