Uni played their first home game of the season vs. a physical Irvine team and fell Fri night, 52-28. The game lasted over three hours and 10 minutes due to various clock stoppages from incomplete passes, penalties and injuries. The Vaqueros piled up 334 yards on 42 carries on the ground to go along with 102 yards in the air on 3 of 11 passing. Irvine amassed 20 first downs (16 via the run) and ran for five scores and passed for another two.
Irvine was led by Jr QB Joseph Tierney who threw two TD passes (both to Sr WR Gabriel Pacheco) and ran for another. Tierney added a two-point run and tossed a two-point pass. A pair of Sr Vaquero running backs each ran for over 100 yards and two touchdowns: Evan Hasegawa and Kendyn Beaver. Hasegawa also ran for a couple of two-point conversions.
Irvine scored first and Uni knotted the score at six all. The Vaqueros were up 21-6 at half a increased the score to 44-6 near the end of the third quarter. That’s when Uni got to work.
Jr QB Koa Saito had fired a 54-yard scoring strike to Jr wideout Blaine Anderson in the opening quarter. Late in the third quarter the duo connected on a 17-yard TD pass followed by two more major finishing strikes in the fourth quarter of 21 and 72 yards. Saito finished with 252 yards passing on 11 completions in 29 attempts. Saito now has over 1,100 yards passing this season with 12 TDs and no interceptions.
Anderson’s breakout game consisted of eight receptions for 224 yards and 4 touchdowns. Three kick returns for 72 yards gave him 296 all-purpose yards for the game. Anderson has over 600 yards receiving and 7 TDs this season.
Jr RB / LB Jai Williams carried the ball 15 times for 46 yards, caught a pair of two-point convert passes from Saito and participated a dozen tackles on defense.
Jr DB Brooks Beckmann was very active on defense participating in eight tackles including chasing down a kick returner within two yards of scoring. Beckmann also broke up two passes and recovered a fumble on a muffed attempted punt return. Sr LB Pax Lang returned to action after missing two games and added seven tackles including two for losses.
The lengthy game was marred by 17 Irvine penalties for 177 yards. This included nine 15-yard penalties. UHS was awarded five first downs due to the Vaquero penalties.
The Trojans and Irvine are now each 2-3. UHS has a bye week before facing 5-0 Laguna Hills at Uni on Sep 30.