Despite a strong showing by the defense in the second half, the Richmond High School Oilers couldn’t overcome a difficult first half against the California School for the Deaf, resulting in their fourth loss of the season, 47-0 on Friday night at the Eagles’ field in Fremont.
“For some reason we started off really slow,” Richmond Head Coach Tashaka Merriweather said. “We dug ourselves into a hole we couldn’t get out of.”
In a first quarter wrought with several Oiler turnovers the Eagles scored five touchdowns.
Eagles senior quarterback Brian Freedman accounted for five of the seven touchdowns in the game, with three runs and 2 catches.
But exhortations from the coaches to keep playing couldn’t slow down the well-coordinated Eagles, who led 32-0 at the end of the first quarter.
“We started great and kept it all the way through,” Eagles head coach Warren Keller said. “They’re very fast, but they missed a lot of tackles.”
Although the Oilers slowed the pace of the damage in the second quarter, it was 45-0 at halftime.
“CSD played a great game,” Merriweather said, reiterating that the Oilers’ slow start really hurt the team.
Both teams faced injuries on the field, but during the second quarter senior running back Nathaniel House worried both coaches and his fellow teammates when he suffered an asthma attack on the sidelines after being pulled out of the game. House was OK, but did not return to the game.
“I guess it was a scary moment on the sidelines,” Merriweather said. “I think the players kind of rallied behind him in the second half.”
The second half showed a different side to the Richmond team, one that didn’t quit despite the lopsided score and wasn’t ready to give up without a fight. The Oilers held the Eagles scoreless in the third quarter and gave up only a two-point safety in the fourth.
“They finally said enough was enough,” Merriweather said. “They finally woke up.”
Tanisha Jacobs, who said she comes out to every game to support her son Antwan Mccoi, a cornerback and running back, said the Richmond team showed its pride and determination in the second half.
“They’ve got good sportsmanship,” she said.
Merriweather said he was expecting a different outcome.
“Honestly, we were expecting to get our first win,” he said. “We had a good week of practice. We really rallied behind each other.”