The UHS Trojans gave an outstanding effort in Week 0 varsity football action Friday night, August 19, but ultimately lost at Dana Hills, 21-14.
Near the end of the first quarter on Uni’s second possession, Junior QB Koa Saito tossed a 13-yard TD pass near the left goal line flag in traffic to Senior TE Chris Conner, putting the Trojans ahead 7-0 with Junior Skye Murphy converting the first of his two PAT kicks. Dana Hills answered with two quick second quarter touchdowns, a 20-yard TD pass and a one yard running score following a 55-yard run.
Late in the third quarter Senior DB Nikko Ray picked off a Dolphin pass in the end zone and returned the ball 32 yards to get a Trojan drive started. Saito led the team down the field culminating in a 5-yard TD run by Junior RB Jai Williams knotting the score at 14 all.
Dana Hills, who beat Uni in Irvine last year 43-0, responded with a scoring drive of their own ending with a 5-yard scoring run to go up 21-14.
Uni had just over 7 minutes to answer and almost did going 86 yards in 14 plays before being stopped at the 4-yard line. Dana Hills ran out the clock to preserve the victory.
Dana Hills had 433 yards of total offense (252 ground and 181 air) outpacing Uni’s 331 yards.
Saito threw for 287 yards for the Trojans completing 19 for 32 passes. A pair of Junior wideouts each caught 7 passes, and both passed the coveted century mark. Jonathan Soto hauled in 135 yards worth of receptions, including 6 for first downs. Blaine Anderson netted 114 yards with 5 catches for first downs. Junior Asher Ross also caught 3 tosses for 27 yards.
The Trojans could only muster 44 yards on the ground. Williams carried the ball 15 times for 46 yards.
The Trojans won the first down battle (19-15) and the turnover margin (3-0), converted 2 fourth downs and forced 2 red zone turnovers.
On defense, Junior Brooks Beckmann was involved in 10 tackles (one a score saver after a long run at the one) and returned two kicks for 38 yards. Senior LB Chris Rue participated in 8 tackles (2 for loss). A pair of Juniors each had 5 tackles: LB Ryan Shabbak and LB Williams (who also recovered a fumble). Junior interior lineman Richard Bines, Junior LB/ DB Eithar Takesh and defensive end Conner each recorded 3 tackles. Defensive back Soto also recorded a sack and recovered a fumble at his own 1-yard line stopping a Dolphin drive.
Junior Andrew Bogard punted 6 times for 196 yards including 2 for 40+ yards and one inside the 20-yard line.
Uni plays on the road vs. Magnolia @ Western High School, Sat, August 27. See everyone there!