On the surface, a box score showing a 30-0 final score suggests the losing football team struggled on both sides of the ball. However, the Santa Clara Bruins’ Week 2 loss to the Overfelt Royals was far more intriguing than the final result might indicate.
Santa Clara stopped the Royals on the first drive of the game, forcing a turnover on downs. The Bruins immediately took over on offense with a big play. Wide-receiver-turned-quarterback Nick Garcia scampered out of the read-option formation for a 30-yard run. That put the Bruins down near the goal line, but a few plays later Garcia would throw an interception. Overfelt took over and scored the game’s first touchdown on the ensuing drive.
Down 8-0 after a successful two-point conversion, the Bruins took over at their own 25 and subsequently turned the ball over again. This time the Bruins botched an end-around run and the Royals took over in tremendous field position.
Santa Clara could have easily folded at this point, but they didn’t. The defense held strong and came up with a big sack to force another turnover on downs.
Unfortunately for Santa Clara fans, the Bruins mustered little on the next drive and were forced to punt. The Royals proceeded to march down the field to score their second touchdown, capped off by a 20-yard run. Another successful two-point conversion made it 16-0.
While the following Bruins drive ended in yet another interception, the Santa Clara defense would come up with a turnover of their own on the very next Royals drive. Bruins’ sophomore Bryan Escorza forced a fumble and Gabe Lopez recovered it.
After Santa Clara’s offense stalled once more, the Royals methodically marched down and punched in a touchdown on a quarterback sneak after a near defensive goal line stand by the Bruins. Now 24-0, the game seemed to be getting out of hand.
Except yet again, the Bruins came up with a big play. This time, it was the offense getting their first quality scoring opportunity since the opening drive. Aided by a couple of penalties by the Overfelt defense, the Bruins rode a big 30-yard pitch and catch from Garcia to Richard Corona to get down into a first-and-goal situation.
After a first-down run with time ticking away in the half, the Bruins tried to call timeout, but were apparently out of timeouts. The clock ran out with the Bruins at the 7-yard line.
Down three touchdowns at halftime, the Bruins could have easily been down by just two scores. Furthermore, to start the second half, the Bruins orchestrated two drives deep into the Royals’ territory. Both drives wound up in turnovers, another fumble and another interception. The point to be had is that the Bruins had plenty of opportunities to score and their defense kept them in the game.
“We had the ball inside the 10-yard line four times. We just kept shooting ourselves in the foot,” remarked Bruins Head Coach Burt Codera. “I made a few mistakes too. The turnovers killed us in the red zone though, we have to put points on the board.”
“The defense did make some good stops,” noted Bruins cornerback and wide receiver Bailey Mungaray. “There were times where we were bending a bit, but we never broke on defense. Offense just need to capitalize when we get down into the red zone.”
The Bruins will attempt to bounce back and improve to 2-1 when they host Menlo School on Friday, Sept. 7.