By Adam Wechsler | Sports Editor
The varsity football team’s season ended on Friday, Nov. 15, with a 24-9 loss to Boyd High School in McKinney. The loss came in the first round of the UIL State Football Championship for 5A.
The game against Boyd was tied at the end of the first quarter at 3-3, with a field goal from junior Spencer Lange in response to a Boyd field goal. In the second quarter, Gjordan Dumas ran the ball for a 33-yard touchdown, followed by a missed extra point, giving the team a 9-3 lead. Boyd responded with 14 points in the quarter to take a 17-9 lead to end the first half.
The third quarter was scoreless for both teams, and the score remained 17-9 heading into the final quarter. The lone points of the half were scored in the fourth quarter by Boyd, which resulted in a 24-9 loss.
Quarterback Hank Hughes finished the game with 125 yards passing, with senior Blake Fletcher as his leading receiver with 61 yards on five catches. “It sucks that we lost, but we put up a good fight,” junior Arash Haj Heydari said. “In the end, McKinney Boyd just had a couple better plays than us.”
Junior Logan Bartolome, a lineman on the team, was happy with the outcome of the past season. After having low expectations, he thinks the team played very well. “I thought it was a bittersweet outcome, because we made it to the 5A playoffs when we were predicted to do poorly this season,” Logan said. “I was glad to see the team improve.”
The team finished 5-6 this season, an improvement from last year’s record of 2-8. The season featured impressive wins against Frisco Wakeland, Richardson and Berkner. “We got a lot more serious about making Pearce football relevant this year, and not just being 2-8, but making the playoffs,” Arash said.
Junior Jack Gann plays linebacker for the team and also saw a lot of improvement within the team over the course of the season. “The team has improved so much from last year in playing and as a team,” Jack said. “We have grown a lot.”
After tough losses in the first two weeks of the season against Lake Dallas and Sachse, the team fought on to have a 4-3 record in their division, propelling the team into the playoffs. Arash thought certain games had more of an influence on the season than others. “I think beating Richardson really was the most important part of the season because it showed everyone in our district how good we actually are,” Arash said.
Logan, on the other hand, viewed each win equally, with the mindset that in the standings, any win will go down the same. “I think every game was a big part of our success,” Logan said. “Each win played a part in the team making the playoffs.”
The team will head into the offseason looking to improve and come back even stronger next year. The team hopes to improve offense and defense. “On offense we will look to improve in our red zone success, on defense forcing more turnovers,” Arash said.
Logan views growing as players and as a team to be the most important point going forward into next season. “I don’t know what we could improve on, but we will grow as a family and get stronger,” Logan said. “We should just look to get better in order to improve next year.”