What an unbelievable night! Our coaching staff knew going into the game that if we stuck to our game plan and executed it that we would have a great chance to emerge victorious on Friday night. Our performance certainly exceeded our expectations and no one on staff can remember ever scoring 41 points in the first quarter of a contest in their entire careers…and that spans a long time! What this means at the end of the day is that we have started our season 2-0 and are on the right track as the season progresses. We will continue to strive to get better as we continue to approach our season week by week.
Defensive Scheme and Performance -- For the second week in a row Coach Foust's defense pitched a shutout. For two consecutive weeks the opposing offense hasn't even reached the Red Zone, quite a feat. Coach Foust and Coach Hamer put together a great scheme that was executed to perfection by our boys. When you face a team that throws the ball 90% of the time you have to realize that there are going to be completions and at times they are likely to break big plays, but our young men never allowed Taft to realize that success. The defense held the Tigers to -12 yards rushing and 60 yards receiving on just four completions. Our defensive front recorded eight sacks on the night including three by Parker Riser. The constant pressure from the front four and linebacking corps gave our secondary the opportunity play aggressive coverage which resulted in two interceptions by Andrew Owens that were both returned for touchdowns. Additionally, Justin Ruiz and Aaron Tadei combined to shut down Taft's biggest receiving threat and make him a non-factor throughout the entire game.
Ground Attack -- As we frequently say, our goal is to always establish our dominance through our running game. Friday provided us the opportunity to quickly impose our will on the Tigers. We rolled up over 375 yards on the ground led for the second week in a row by Calvin Pollard's 129 yards, despite having him watching the action from the sideline for most of the second half. Aaron Tadei, Andrew Owens, Justin Ruiz, Kyver Hamilton, and Kyle Rees also had big nights toting the rock and ran through the Taft defense with reckless abandon. Often forgotten is the blocking that provides our deep stable of running backs the opportunity to hit the holes at full speed. Donald Zwahlen, Max Beaudoin, Daemon Fassler, Levon Schehl, Trenton Shaw, and Nick Richardson were outstanding all night in dominating the Taft defensive front and giving our backs the room they needed to operate.
Downfield Blocking -- Our wide receivers might sometimes seem neglected in our offense simply because we don't throw the ball a bunch. However, the great thing about this group is that they take as much pride in blocking as they ever do in making a catch. The explosiveness of our running game this year is due in large part to the efforts of Danny Leary and Justin White who secure blocks down field and tie up defenders that would otherwise stand between our running backs and the end zone. Their effort on Friday night was the best I've witnessed since taking over the program eleven games ago.
Kicking Game -- The resurgence of a kicking game after week one has provided me with a much needed sense of calm when it matters. What more can you say about David Ward's first night as a member of the Seagull's football program other than "reliable"? The ability to consistently convert PATs is a luxury that not all teams enjoy. As the season progresses David will get better and stronger and provide us an additional scoring threat inside the red zone. Perhaps more impressive on the night was David's ability to kick the ball down the field after each score and give us an extreme field position advantage throughout the night.
Awesome Crowd -- Our boys really feed off our crowd and appreciate the continued support. Thank you all for making it out on Friday night despite a questionable weather forecast. We always appreciate you meeting us on the field after the game…but more of you need to learn those words to our victory song! They will continue to be made available at all home games on the back of our Friends of Football donor list and are always available on our website www.seasidefootball.com.
Young Gulls Getting Reps -- For the second week in a row everyone who dressed down for the game on Friday night had an opportunity to play. These opportunities for our younger players to get game experience at the varsity level will prove invaluable as we progress through the season and the need to step up and fill holes will arise. Additionally, this varsity prep time will give them the much needed experience to be full time varsity contributors next season.
Increased Social Media Presence -- Between week one and week two we picked up approximately 75 new followers on our Facebook page. Thank you to my wife who continues to outdo herself on the constant upkeep of this website and our Facebook page to provide players, parents, fans, and others the opportunity to keep up with the program. In addition to the awesome photographs provided by Jeff Ter Har we have added a weekly single play highlight clip as well as a game highlight reel for all to view and relive the great moments from Friday nights. Thanks to those parents and fans who are sending us their personal pics via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and to all of you who are viewing our slideshows. The Daily Astorian has also been fantastic about featuring photos and wrote a great story about our first game versus Warrenton; check them out online or on the Daily Astorian Sports Facebook page. You can always find our most up-to-date outside media source links (newspaper, highlight clips, replays of the Gulls Nest radio show, etc) on the website here.
Fumbles -- We were able to avoid putting the ball on the ground in our first contest, but week two was a different story. Although we only lost one of our two fumbles, the complacency in securing the ball is an ongoing concern. Despite taking the ball away from Taft three times on the night, we can't afford to try and match that statistical category if we are going to continue to be competitive in our future games.
Two weeks in a row with nothing to report.
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