By Adam Wechsler | Sports Editor
The varsity football team played its first game of the season on Aug. 29 against McKinney High School. The team lost the game 26-21.
In the first quarter McKinney scored the opening touchdown of the game on a 37-yard interception return from a pass thrown by quarterback Austin Noland. McKinney followed that by scoring another touchdown on a one-yard run later in the first quarter. The first quarter ended with Pearce trailing 14-0.
Pearce opened the second quarter by scoring 14 points to tie the game on a two-yard touchdown run by junior Hank Hughes, and then a 58-yard touchdown pass from Noland to Hughes. Before the end of the half, McKinney scored again on a five-yard touchdown run but missed the extra point. The first half ended with McKinney leading 20-14.
The only score in the third quarter came on a five-yard touchdown run by senior Jake Hercamp. The extra point sent Pearce to a 21-20 lead to end the third quarter.
McKinney would score the only points of the fourth quarter on another five-yard touchdown run. They missed a two-point conversion, making the score 26-21. This turned out to be the game-winning touchdown as Pearce was unable to score for the rest of the game.
After playing the first game of the season, players noticed some areas for improvement.
“We are going to perform better in our gaps on defense,” defensive lineman Kasra Karimi said. “We will also execute better by making strong tackles and having less missed tackles.”
Another point for improvement will be limiting mistakes on offense.
“We need to limit our turnovers,” offensive lineman Kenneth Lawrence said. “Our defense gave us a lot of chances, but we were unable to take advantage of them. We would have strong drives, but there would be one mistake that would end it.”
Despite losing, the team played well overall and will try to continue with its strong aspects. Passing and running the ball on offense as well as the blocking will be important parts of the teams performance.
“We had strong passing from Austin in this game and that helped,” Kenneth said. “The offensive line created good pass protection and was able to keep pressure off the quarterback. Also, the run game was solid and the running backs were given good blocking.”
One strong performer from the game was defensive tackle Keevron Williams.
“Keevron played well in the game, plugging up the middle of the field,” linebacker Farbode Karimi said. “His performance helped stop the inside run game and kept McKinney from putting up a lot of points.”
Playing energetic football is also something the team will focus on throughout the season after seeing a lot of it in the season opener.
“We played energetically in the beginning of the game, and that’s something we will try to continue,” Kasra said. “Playing passionately will overall help us play better football.”