The first stumble

Football team struggles in season opener

East+quarterback+Shane+Barrett+scrambles+away+from+pressure+on+Friday+during+East%27s+win+over+the+football+team.

Ashley Marlo

East quarterback Shane Barrett scrambles away from pressure on Friday during East’s win over the football team.

Daniel Tedder, Staff Reporter

At seven Friday night, the football team kicked off its 2014 campaign at home against Fort Zumwalt East. The night was characterized by an uncomfortable heat, deterring fans from the game. Many students came otherwise, like senior Brycen Rodgers.

“I went to get rowdy. I went to support my fellow seniors and watch them work their butts off,” Rodgers said.

Despite high temperatures, the student section was filled, with standing room only. The energy at kick-off was palpable. With 3:21 left in the first quarter, the Lions finally broke through the defensive backs for the first touchdown of the game. The crowd went silent, and it affected the players, according to senior Joseph Ziegler.

“After the first score, we all lost the momentum. I tried to cheer people up because it’s not a seven touchdown lead, it’s just one,” Ziegler said.

After the momentum shift, the half ended with the Fort Zumwalt East Lions up 14-0. From the second half kick-off, it was the Lions’ game.

Within the first three minutes of the third quarter, the team found themselves down by another 3 touchdowns, bringing the score to a blowout 35-0. It was not until the end of the fourth quarter, that the Spartans got on the board. By the final blow of the whistle, the Lions claimed a 35-7 victory.

The bright spot, it seemed, was the emergence of sophomore Jackson Berck and freshman Ashaad Blue Williams. Williams scored with 1:12 left in the game, the lone score that prevented a shutout. Berck found himself playing quarterback when senior starter Frank Davis came out temporarily due to asthma. For Berck, it was a new experience.

“When I stepped onto the field, it felt like I was in a movie,” Berck said.

After this loss, the team will be practicing to face Fort Zumwalt South this Friday, again on home turf.