Sports: Bears Falter in Season Opener Against Campolindo
The M-A varsity football team struggled in the season opener, falling to the visiting Campolindo Cougars 38-21 in a disappointing start to the new year.
After kicking the ball off to start the game, the Bears found themselves on a long defensive stand. As the Cougars marched the ball upfield, the M-A defense was unable to slow the dynamic offense. The six minute drive culminated in a Campolindo touchdown, and the first score of the game.
Upset at the lack of defensive presence, the Bears came out on offensive with intensity. On their first possession of the season, M-A made a strong push into Cougar territory. Helped by big runs by senior running backs Brian Jaggers and Isiah Nash, the Bears saw themselves inside the redzone with under a minute to play in the quarter. But that was all senior quarterback Brian Keare needed, connecting with fellow senior wide receiver Ryan Roberts for a sixteen yard touchdown pass, and leveling the score 7-7 at the end of the first.
Despite the M-A momentum going into the second, Campolindo dominated the quarter, outscoring the Bears 17-7 on two touchdowns and a field goal. The Bears’ only score came on a 12 yard touchdown run by Nash, leaving M-A at a 24-14 deficit going into halftime.
At the start of the second half, the M-A offense struggled to gain traction. After receiving the ball to start the third quarter, the Bears were unable to break into Cougar territory. Fortunately for M-A, Campolindo failed to continue their dominant offense as well. With both teams’ defenses battling for possession, the Bears were finally able to gain momentum when Keare connected with senior Oliver Bucca for a 25 yard pickup to bring M-A in the Campolindo redzone. From here, Brian Jaggers showed his strength and speed, running over a Cougar defender for a 15 yard touchdown run. Fired up by the one possession game, the Bears lined up for the ensuing kickoff.
However, the momentum was short lived, as on that very kickoff the Campolindo return man brought the ball 75 yards for the touchdown. Unable to bounce back from the score, the Bears did not answer back, and ended the third quarter behind.
In the fourth quarter, the Cougar defense shut the Bears down, and they were unable to score for the rest of the game. A mid-quarter field goal, followed by another touchdown gave Campolindo as decisive 38-21 lead, and the victory.
According to senior quarterback Brian Keare, it’s the “little things” that the Bears need to work on. “We made a couple mistakes, there were a couple drops, a couple missed assignments on defense, I missed a couple throws.” He is certain that M-A “can get better at it and then we’ll be there.”
Although this first game wasn’t what the Bears had hoped for to start the season, the team is looking forward with optimism.
“Our guys did a heck of a job,” Keare stated. “We hit some people, we played our hearts out, and we’re looking forward to getting back next week and beating Los Gatos.”