by Larry Ham
Missed opportunities were the underlying story as the Reedley College Tigers opened the 2010 football season with a 23-20 loss to the Foothill College Owls Saturday night in Los Altos Hills.
The Tigers had three possessions that started in Owl territory in the First half and scored no points in any of the three. Tiger place kicker Curtis O’Neill, an all-conference selection last season had a miserable night, having two short field goal attempts blocked, having two other attempts miss wide, and ending his night by suffering a dislocated shoulder in the fourth quarter.
The Tiger defense also had trouble stopping Foothill’s outstanding running back Eugene Wright. Wright carried 29 times for 156 yards and a touchdown, and repeatedly gained extra yards by dragging would-be tacklers with him before going down.
It wasn’t all bad news for the Tigers, however. Sophomore Linebacker Ben Jensen intercepted a pass from Foothill Quarterback Kent London, and ran it back ninety yards for a short-lived 7-6 second quarter lead. The Tigers also got a great game from Sophomore Wide Receiver Luciano Lubin, who caught seven passes for 113 yards and a touchdown.
But despite a stirring late game comeback, it was a missed two point conversion with less than four minutes to play that caused the Tigers to come up just short against a highly ranked opponent.
It’s just the first game of the season, but the Tigers need to work on run defense and special teams execution, something that will be made more difficult depending on how long Curtis O’Neill is sidelined.
Game One Report Card:
Special Teams: F
Player of The Game: Luciano Lubin
This coming Saturday, the Tigers open the home schedule by hosting College of San Mateo at seven PM at Reedley High School Stadium.
Be sure and catch the webcast at Reedley College Website
Check back here the following Monday at 7 p.m. for our next game recap. The Tiger Football schedule can be found on our event calendar.