Tense back-and-forth ends in 4th quarter touchdown
September 5, 2021
by Zach Thompson, Copy Editor
Football was back at Laney on Friday for the first time in nearly two years. In their first game of the season, after taking the 2020-21 year off due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Laney Eagles fell 35-28 to the Modesto Junior College Pirates.
In what was a back-and-forth game, Laney quickly got on the board. During their first possession, starting quarterback Carson Jarratt linked with wide receiver Maurice Lloyd for a 49-yard touchdown. Placekicker Jesse Manzo completed the extra point attempt to put the Eagles up 7-0.
Modesto responded well. At the beginning of the 2nd quarter, The Pirates forced a fumble and took over at Laney’s 12-yard line. Running back (RB) Michael Ramos soon rushed for a 3-yard touchdown that would tie the game at 7-7.
It didn’t take long for Laney to reclaim the lead. In the second play of their new possession, wide receiver Ta’ir Brooks caught a short pass and rushed into the in zone. It was a 71-yard score. RB Anthony Frais answered back with a touchdown for Modesto, and QB Jarratt later connected with RB Jacob Harris for another huge 80-yard gain. The Eagles led 21-14 heading into halftime.
The second half of the game took on a very different feel. The Eagles struggled to score, while the middle of the field began to open up for the Pirates. With 1:32 left to go in the 3rd quarter, Modesto RB Anthony Frais rushed on the ground for a big 30-yard gain. It was his second touchdown of the night, and the score was tied at 21-21.
But Laney would fail to put up any points in the 3rd quarter. Another large run from Frais netted the Pirates 39 yards, opening the way for RB Lucas Curtis to rush the end zone and give Modesto the lead.
Laney was able to tie the game up with 8:16 left to go, but Frais scored again, giving him three touchdowns and sealing the win for Modesto. The final score was 35-28.
Eagles Head Coach John Beam spoke about the significance of seeing players back on the field after the pandemic forced the team to shut down. “My team goal today was that we would get to play again after two years,” Beam stated. “A year or two years ago at this time we weren’t playing. So to get everybody here, play a game and stay safe, that was good.”
On what went wrong in the game, Beam stated “Our mistakes cost us. We had an interception that cost us and a bad snap that cost us as well. They (Modesto) weren’t moving the ball much except for then, and that’s how they got some momentum.” Beam emphasized that while he never likes to lose, the team has plenty of room to grow and will improve on their mistakes. “Well, it’s a learning experience right? This was just a midterm. We have to go back, look at it, make the corrections and get better. That’s all we can ask.”
Laney Defensive Back A’Marion McCoy finished the game with one interception. He mentioned a few areas of concern, citing the need for the team to communicate more in order to be in a position to succeed. “It was really miscommunication,” McCoy Said. “I mean the defense gave up 35 points, so we have to turn that around next week. We just have to read our keys and communicate more. We’ll be back.”
The Eagles next game will be Saturday, September 11th in Oroville, CA against Butte College.
Photo edits done by Ivan Chairez, Photo Editor.