By ALLAN ZENG
University High School played against Kennedy High School this past Friday, losing 43-6 and moving their record this season to 0-3.
University was unable to get off to the start they needed to, falling behind 29-0 by halftime. However, they played better after the half, holding Kennedy to 14 points and ending the game with a rushing touchdown by Sophomore Ziyad Merchant. Merchant didn’t start the game at quarterback, but finished it as the quarterback after a substitution. He spoke positively of his team’s performance in the second half.
“I think by the second half we definitely got the chains moving and now in practice we just gotta worry about finishing. I think we definitely just have simple mistakes, I mean just simple tackles and knowing the game of football. I think we just got to study and watch film and just worry about finishing now” Merchant said.
As for his rushing touchdown, the first rushing touchdown by a quarterback this season, Ziyad remarked, “With me I just trust my feet more than my arm, so I just saw an open field and ran.”
Head Football Coach Chris Hernandez spoke positively of Ziyad’s performance, especially considering the circumstances.
“Ziyad was put in a position where we took our starter out and put Ziyad in, to give him a chance to see what he could do, and a lot of that was just him making plays. And some of that is extending plays with his feet. And I always tell the guys, ‘Don’t ever let coaching keep you from making a play. So if you have a progression but you get flushed out, go make a play with our feet.’” said Hernandez.
Coach Hernandez also remarked on his team’s early struggles thus far into the season, as well as what he wants to improve upon throughout the season.
“We were flat during the pregame. We had some distractions in pregame and we came out and we were flat. Kennedy was just ready to go and I just didn’t have the guys ready. I gotta do a better job of getting them prepared to play football. My goal this year is to learn how to practice the right way. I want to see us practice with game intensity. We’re getting close, but we gotta do a better job”.
The Trojans next game will be against Katella High School this Thursday, September 19th, at 7:00 P.M.