If there was ever a good time for a football team to suffer a lopsided defeat, the final game before the league season starts is probably ideal. This past Friday the Santa Clara Bruins saw their record fall to 2-1, dropping a 24-0 decision to the Harker Eagles. After a bye next Friday, the Bruins will open their league schedule by hosting Gunn on Sept. 22.
“That was a total whupping—and you can print that,” commented Bruins Head Coach Hank Roberts. “We came into the game thinking we were great. We came in reading what everyone had said. We came in listening to everybody and that happened on Monday. This [loss] is the best thing that could have happened to us, without a shadow of a doubt.”
“Absolutely,” concurred starting quarterback Christopher Brown on whether this was the ideal time for a wake up call. “This is the perfect time. The next game is coming. Definitely a good time to be humbled.”
Santa Clara struggled offensively throughout the contest against Harker, but thanks to their defense, it looked like the game might go into halftime just 7-0. However, the Eagles added a quick 10 points late in the half to go up 17-0.
“I want make sure that I’m very clear, the absolute beat down was offensively,” noted coach Roberts. “Their defense absolutely beat us down. We can’t expect our defense to play 100 snaps. We can’t expect them to only give up 24 points when that happens. They played absolutely balls out. As bad as we played on offense, the score should have been 56-0.”
“The defense was amazing today,” echoed Brown. “The score should have been much worse, the defense did exceptionally well. I have no problems with their play. If anything can be taken out of this, it’s that our defense hung in there for us, proud of them for sure.”
Santa Clara’s defense did bend at times, but never broke. Once again it was the linebacker corps that stood out with some big plays. Antonio Soto came up with a big fumble recovery and Zaqar Gambles Andres made a nice diving tackle to trip up a tailback who looked to be turning the corner with lots of green grass in front of him.
On the other side of the ball, Harker’s defense completely shut down the Bruins offense. After rushing for over 250 yards against the Royals, senior tailback Erik Ketton was kept in check for under 50 yards. And while star receivers Nick Garcia and Richard Corona made a handful of nice receptions, Brown just missed connecting with both of them on a couple of long throws.
“Just one of those days, it’s a quarterback thing,” admitted Brown. “Nothing I can do about it now, but Monday I’ll be there at school until nine o’clock at night trying to get better. Tuesday, same thing. Just have to prepare for the next game as best you can.”