By KIEL MESSINGER
With a dominant running game, football defeated Portola 28-16 for their first victory of the season. The game took place on October 5, and placed them tied for second in the Pacific Coast League, with a 1-1 record.
The game was not smooth from start to finish, as the Trojans had to overcome a six point deficit at halftime to secure the victory.
“The game was tough and we had some adversity to face. Our team pulled through… and I couldn’t be any happier for the boys. I’m just happy to bring home a win for our school,” junior Branton Lucas said.
Other members of the team also were satisfied with the team’s comeback.
“Even though we were down at half, we did a good job of not giving up and kept playing like it was 0-0,” senior Ethan Bell said.
The win spoke to the determination of the team, which continued to persevere after losses to start the season.
“We were really dedicated to getting a win, so we didn’t give up and we tried harder in the second half,” senior Daniel Fernandez said.
Head Coach Scott Meyer was also proud of the team’s performance.
“I’m just real happy for our guys to finally get a win,” Meyer said.
Members of the team believed that this was the game that the team started to play as a team.
“At first, we were lacking on communication which led to Portola scoring, but then we really started playing as a team. When we got the momentum started, it was hard for them to stop us,” junior Justin Morgan said.
The win took contributions from all over the field.
“I think it was a great overall team effort; the offense marching [down] the field and scoring and our defense did well by stopping Portola when we needed it most,” senior Eddie Castillo said.
Castillo played a huge part in the victory as him, Lucas, and senior quarterback Thomas Keeling combined for 327 yards and four touchdowns on the ground.
“We ran the ball nearly the entire game and our offensive line was able to create huge holes for our [running] backs to make big plays,” senior Jared Harlan said.
The massive rushing numbers had multiple causes.
“Our plan was to run the ball, and our guys probably blocked the best we have all year long,” Meyer said.
The success on the ground was something the team has been striving for the whole year.
“From the beginning of the year, the goal was to try to establish the run, [and] we felt really comfortable with our run game early on, so we just stuck top it,” Meyer said.
The defense also played well, allowing only three points in the second half.
“Our defensive front was solid, giving up very little on the opponent’s run plays,” Harlan said.
Though the team was victorious, they still need to clean up on some mistakes, and penalties continue to be an issue.
“Receivers are still dropping balls, dropped balls that could have gone for touchdowns, so clean up the penalties and when we get the opportunity to catch the ball and make a big play, we need to get it done,” Meyer said.
The team looks to improve on these mistakes as they try to continue their win streak against Irvine on Friday, October 12.