The Salesian High School Pride handed the Richmond High School Oilers their third loss in a row in a game that ended 28-6 at the Salesian High School fields on Saturday afternoon.
Despite the defeat, Richmond coaches and players agreed that the team fought hard against the Salesian Pride, a team that ranks within the top 150 of California high school varsity football programs, according to the CBS sports website MaxPreps.
“I learned a lot about my team today, some good and some bad unfortunately,” Richmond Head Coach Tashaka Merriweather said. “The good thing is we can play with a top tier school for three quarters and we can score, which was a struggle for us against a good defense.”
Spirits were high at the start of the game, and Richmond appeared ready to battle. Even a touchdown by Salesian’s Tyrone Morgan five minutes into the action did not seem to distract from the Oilers’ intent to win.
In the second quarter, Richmond’s Nathaniel House intercepted a Salesian pass and streaked 60 yards to score a touchdown, which briefly tied the score.
But a touchdown made by the Pride’s Michael Page followed by a two-point conversion with only two minutes left in the first half sparked a drop in morale that would continue throughout the rest of the game, as Richmond’s defense began to crumble allowing Salesian 7 points in each of the third and fourth quarters.
“Some of the negatives of our performance included keeping the team’s composure throughout the game,” said coach Merriweather of his players’ low spirits and frustration during the second half. “We are passionate about winning, but we have to find a way to direct that toward the game instead of ourselves.”
Coach Merriweather said roster changes were likely.
“After three weeks, you see what you’re going to get from your team, and if it’s not working, then I need to make some adjustments.”
Moving forward, Merriweather noted that keeping a positive focus will not only help the team improve, but also boost its low morale.
“Unfortunately a loss like this isn’t something that’s new to us, so what I do is find a way to each week make a new challenge and get the kids excited about that challenge,” he said. “If I can get them to see all of the good things we did, then I think we’ll be better off.”
Richmond player Dashawn Clark agreed.
“This game is in the past, and we need to look toward the future, play the next game and play hard,” he said.
The Oilers will play their next game this Friday, Sep. 14 at the California School for the Deaf Eagles’ home turf.