Any high school football coach will tell you — Week 1 of the new football season is full of ups and downs.
More downs, actually, than ups.
And heading to the first Daily Journal Game of the Week, South San Francisco and Capuchino high schools are teams that took those swings and did very different things with them last week.
South City eeked out an overtime win against Santa Clara, while the Mustangs fell hard to Homestead.
But we are now in Week 2. Now we look forward.
“Last week was tough, against a tough team that is considered a contender every year,” said Capuchino’s first-year coach Josh Horton. “That’s a good measuring stick. And kind of giving them a run for their money was a good thing to see. Of course, the penalties and all that was bad. But this is a game that, without a shadow a doubt, we feel like we can do a ton better than last week and the week before (in a scrimmage against Balboa).”
South City head coach Frank Moro, despite his win over the Bruins, echoed a similar thought.
“We had a hard time stopping them early,” he said. “We made some adjustments that worked for us. But the good thing is, we used a little bit of everything in that game. Our hands team, our dime package, our nickel package. We learned to play from behind and we learned how to play an overtime game.”
It’s all a learning experience right now and going into Friday afternoon’s game (3:15 kickoff at Capuchino in San Bruno), the Warriors and Mustangs will continue that trend as we inch closer to the Peninsula Athletic League season.
“The biggest thing on our end this week is, we needed to push the tempo,” Horton said. “We’re looking to convert a lot of what we do on offense to a no-huddle system. And, that’s something that we’ve working with this entire week. Actually, the execution shows better results than us trying to huddle. It can work and show good results.”
“They have a couple of good athletes over there,” Moro said. “We have to do a good job of containing them, of containing the quarterback and just play our game. Stay in our lanes and not chase. We have to play football and not get into a chase match.”
Horton said he’s looking to utilize his players’ abilities to their utmost. Against a team like South City, with a fast and hard-hitting defense, the task is a lot tougher.
“With the type of players we got,” Horton said, “I know the type of athletes I have and they fit the system. It’s just trying to figure out what is the best way to get into our set quicker and be more effective. I think that with us, going more uptempo, more no-huddle, that’s what is going to be our final piece that’s missing from our offense.”
For South City, it’s a matter of cleaning things up, especially up front.
“We have to do a better job of protecting our quarterback,” Moro said. “And it wasn’t just our line, it’s our running backs, tight ends protecting the edges and even our quarterback. So we spent a little time with that this week.”
Moro added South City renewed its emphasis on defensive discipline. Against Santa Clara, Moro felt they were overly aggressive and rushed out of their lanes — this allowed to the Bruins to do most of the damage between the tackles. It’s something he said won’t happen Friday against Cap.