Turnovers were the story of the game for the Fremont Firebirds of Sunnyvale against the Cupertino Pioneers on Friday night, losing 44-11. It was also the homecoming game for Cupertino, but unfortunately for the Firebirds, they were unable to spoil the night for the Pioneers.
The Firebirds committed three turnovers in the game with two of them coming from interceptions off the arm of starting quarterback Bryan Arcia. The other came off a fumbled handoff with a little more than 30 seconds left in the third quarter.
Although Fremont lost the turnover battle, their defense looked better in spurts. They forced Cupertino into a few three-and-outs and recovered a fumble by Cupertino with 10:26 left in the third quarter. The Firebird defense looked better against Cupertino, but consistency and limiting explosive plays from the opposing team is essential.
“It takes time, reps and understanding from the guys more,” coach Adam Herald said. “We got to talk to them, coach them up a different way, but at the end of the day, they have to play football and make plays too.”
Unfortunately for Fremont, there were a few possessions where the defense didn’t take advantage of their opportunities. Late in the second quarter, the Pioneers scored a touchdown on one pass play
Despite the loss, there were some positives for the Firebirds. They scored a touchdown with backup quarterback Johnathan Gutierrez making the throw to his receiver Mike Farantino after Arcia limped around on the sideline in the third quarter. Additionally, instead of going for the extra point, they went for the two-point conversion and got it. Offensively, they took some shots down the field. Fremont forced a couple of three-and-outs and a tackle for loss on the defensive side of the ball.
“We took some shots down the field and we didn’t come down with them,” coach Herald said. “We got to make sure that if we’re taking those shots, we have to do better coming down with the ball, especially if it hits our hands.”
“It’s a team effort and everyone has to do their part. We can go through and watch the film, and see collectively, we didn’t do a good job and we have to do better,” coach Herald said.
The Firebirds will have a bye week to prepare for their game against the second-ranked Palo Alto Vikings on Friday, Oct. 12 when they come to Fremont High School.