In a game that will be remembered more for its significance as a memorial to a lost player than as a high stakes varsity football encounter, the El Cerrito Gauchos beat the Kennedy Eagles 64-8 in Richmond last night, challenging a team still reeling from the death of offensive lineman Ulises Grijalva, who was shot and killed near his home on August 5.
“We tried to play in his honor, and this is not the outcome we wanted,” Kennedy Head Coach Mack Carminer, said after the game. “They definitely capitalized on each one of our mistakes as much as they could. We’ve got to get back to the lab before our next game on Friday.”
The Eagles’ helmets had stickers labeled “75” and the initials “UG” in honor of Grijalva. Playing in front of several hundred home fans, they put up a spirited defense in the first half, and Eagles quarterback Roman Espinoza, who had “Uli” in face paint on his cheeks, threw an early touchdown to Rashid Jamerson to provide the Eagles with one spectacular moment.
But the Gauchos proved too fast and too strong, and led 48-8 by halftime on the way to the 64-8 final.
“Log this in your memory,” Carminer told the team as he pointed to the scoreboard at the end of the game. “You want to make sure that this doesn’t happen again. We shot ourselves in the foot and we can’t blame anyone. We’ll see that team again, one game does not make a season.”
Assistant coach Dan Shaughnessy repeated the theme. “We’ve invested too much of ourselves and our time,” he said. “This isn’t going to happen again.”
Carminer said the team would be working to improve before next Friday’s game against Salesian.
“We’ve got to master the basic fundamentals of the game and be consistent,” Carminer said. “We played them last year and they beat us 45-5, and we’re looking to have a better showing than we did last year against them.”