UHS Football Comes Back to Defeat Beckman in League Game


Sandrine Biziaux-Scherson

UHS football players tackle BHS players.

Eithar Takesh, Staff Writer

The University High Varsity Football Team won their Senior Night game against Beckman High on Oct. 21 with a final score of 21-14.

At first, the team started slowly, unable to move the ball on crucial third downs. Although the defense played solid throughout the first half, Beckman drove the ball down the field and scored on a one-yard plunge with a minute left in the first half. 

The subsequent kickoff was recovered by Beckman, followed by a short run, giving the Patriots a 14-0 lead at the half.

“We just kept shooting ourselves in the foot,” junior Ryan Shabbak said.  “This was our game to lose.” 

After halftime, the team returned with renewed motivation. The team’s defense set the tone for the ensuing two quarters and shut Beckman out for the remainder of the game.

“[Our] defense was just impenetrable for the rest of the game,” senior Captain Chris Rue said. “We had struggled for the past few weeks due to the loss of key players, but we were finally putting all the pieces together again and it was just lights out.”

Although Beckman had more yardage on the field, the main difference between the two teams came down to turnovers. UHS forced three, while Beckman had none.

“Our defense truly shined in this game,” junior Blaine Anderson said. “They gave us the chance to come back and we wouldn’t have been able to make up for the points lost without them.”

The team’s turnover occurred late into the third quarter after linebacker Jai Williams forced a fumble, which was recovered by Rue. The team was unable to take advantage of the turnover and was forced to defend another offensive drive. Junior quarterback Koa Saito proceeded to strip a Beckman receiver of the ball, returning it for 40 yards to the Beckman two-yard line.

“The tempo of the game just shifted after those two defensive plays,” Saito said. “We started playing harder . . . hitting them more and connecting on all cylinders.” 

The team could not get the ball into the end zone, but due to UHS’ defense, the Trojans took over. Seven plays later with only 1:07 left in the game, sophomore Zach Malek found junior Brooks Beckmann and tied the score on the fourth down.

After an attempted on-side kick, Beckman began marching down the field with a series of quick passes and roll-outs. With everything on the line, Williams intercepted a pass and ran it 70 yards down the left sideline to score with only nine seconds left in the fourth quarter, giving UHS a 21-14 lead. This resulted in the team’s first win in five weeks.

“We knew that to make the playoffs we would have to win this game,” Rue said. “There were no ifs, [ands] or buts. It was all or nothing this week and our defense really pulled through for us.”