One of the most anticipated events in high school sports is the kickoff of football season and it did not disappoint as action abounded last Friday night with Maxwell and Williams posting big wins and Pierce, despite being edged in thriller, putting on a great offensive show, although Princeton saw its opponent forfeit and therefore did not take the field.
Maxwell 38, Esparto 22
It was a nice win for the Panthers who put 32 first half points on the board then held off a late rally by the Spartans much to the delight of the hometown crowd.
Senior Isaiah Cardenas started the season off right for Maxwell cashing in on the first of his three touchdowns, then ran in the two point conversion to put the Panthers on top 8-0 just seconds into the game.
Maxwell then added to their lead with two minutes remaining in the open period when quarterback Trent Hendrix connected with junior wide receiver Tony Lopez for another score.
In the second quarter, the Panthers were able capitalize after a Spartan turnover as Cardenas took the handoff 44 yards to the end zone then tacked on another two point conversion.
But the Panthers still weren’t done, when after exchanging turnovers with Esparto, Hendrix hit Wyatt Hendrix for the fourth touchdown of the first half making the score 32-8.
In the second half Maxwell found the end zone one last time as the Hendrix to Lopez combination struck again.
Although the Panthers would yield 14 points to the Spartans in the second half, it was ultimately too little too late.
Coach Russ Jones while happy with the win said there was still a long way to go for his team considering some of the powerhouses looming in the coming weeks.
“We still have lots of work to do. Our O-line made some holes and Isaiah ran the ball very well. Trent played a solid game at quarterback, and our defense played well all game. With that being said, we have to get better,” Jones said.
Cardenas finished the night with 223 yards on 16 carries while Trent Hendrix completed eight passes for 94 yards.
Raul Quinteros, who had a team high 12 tackles and Christian Cabrera, who made seven tackles in addition to registering a sack and an interception, led an aggressive Panther defense.
Next up for Maxwell (1-0) is a trip to Clarksburg to take on Delta this Friday.
Williams 18, Live Oak 6
Williams evened their record at 1-1 last week in Live Oak behind a strong outing from their defense as it wreaked havoc on the Lions forcing eight turnovers.
Senior Alan Martinez had a huge hand in the outcome accounting for 12 tackles, two forced fumbles, one of which he recovered, and then picking off a pass that he returned 14 yards for a touchdown to swing the momentum back in the Yellowjackets’ favor.
Also turning in solid efforts for the ‘Jackets was senior linebacker Jesus Jauregui who made eight tackles and caused two fumbles and Jordan Cano who was strong on special teams.
Offensively, Williams still has yet to find its rhythm, although Aldo Ambriz turned in his second noteworthy performance in as many games carrying five times for 51 yards and a touchdown in addition two making two receptions for 38 yards.
Accounting for the ’Jackets’ other offensive touchdown was junior Jerry Gomez who hauled in a 34 yard pass from quarterback Mo Hernandez.
Production from the offense, which was held to 183 yards against the Lions, is a concern for coach Jeff Lemus who noted that it is “something we have to get squared away before Durham.”
Last year’s section runner up, Durham will be in Williams on Friday at McCarl Field in the ‘Jackets’ home opener.
U-Prep (Redding) 49, Pierce 48
Despite having a 21 point lead at one point and playing a dominant first half, a young Pierce Bear team struggled with growing pains in the second half on the road and found themselves on the short end of the score as the Panthers snatched the win with under five minutes remaining.
“Their conditioning was better than ours as a team. We made some critical mistakes and they took advantage but we definitely accomplished what we wanted on offense, which is exciting,” said coach Anthony Tapia after reflecting on his teams’ setback in the back-and-forth affair.
Pierce liked what it saw from junior quarterback Eduardo Paiz who tossed four touchdown passes in the game with two going to senior Daniel Medina while junior Luke Voorhees was on the receiving end of a pair as well.
Accounting for the Bears’ other two touchdowns was junior running back Jesus Ruiz.
No other statistics from the game were available.
Pierce (0-1) hopes to come away with its first win this week when it takes to the road again traveling to Clear Lake for a match up with the Cardinals.