Head coach Willie Herrera felt that his East Union High varsity football team was well prepared for Friday’s non-league home game against Bear Creak.
It just wasn’t prepared for Saturday’s non-league game at Bear Creek.
The Bruins rushed for 328 yards and racked up four interceptions against EU’s dangerous passing attack to prevail, 41-14.
The game was originally scheduled for Friday at EU’s Dino Cunial Field, but Principal John Alba called it off due to lightning. With youth football games going on all day on Dino Cunial Field, the Lancers agreed to play the game in Stockton.
“(Friday) I could look at the kids eyes and see that we were ready to go,” Herrera said. “Today was a little bit different. We weren’t prepared well for that type of transition. We didn’t travel as a team, everyone had to get their own rides.
“Keeping our focus is something that we preach, and we just didn’t handle the change very well. It’s like I say, ‘You have to be comfortable with being uncomfortable,’ and I don’t think we were today.”
That was evident at the start.
Bear Creek (1-1) was ahead 21-0 before Steven Gigli tacked on the Lancers’ first points via a 1-yard run with 6:18 to go in the second quarter. They wouldn’t score again until the fourth when backup QB Jack Zellar hit Kevin Bolding for a 25-yard touchdown with 38 seconds left.
Bear Creek put the game away with a 20-point flurry in the final quarter.
Quarterback Joe Menzel struggled after showing some promise in his varsity debut last week. On top of throwing four picks (one of which went for a TD), he completed 16 of 34 passes for 231 yards. T.J. Williams caught four of those passes for 66 yards.
And for the second straight week, East Union couldn’t get its ground game going. The Lancers were limited to 35 yards on 20 attempts. Mark Aguilar accounted for all of those yards on eight rushes.
Linebacker Zak Lewallen highlighted the defense with two sacks and a forced fumble that was recovered by defensive end Joseph Daigle. Lineman Josh Byrd also forced a fumble, and Mike Correia was there for the recovery.
“It seems worse than what it was,” Herrera said. “Our young quarterback had a rough night but it’s a part of learning. Defensively, we had some missed tackles that killed us.
“What’s most frustrating is that we’re not 41-14 bad. I give Bear Creek some credit, coach (Reggie) Camp is doing a great job over there.
“Our inexperience showed, but I think we’ll get better from this.”
East Union travels to Ceres next Friday to wrap up its non-league schedule.