Oliver Gallop, graphics editor
While spectators were still getting into their seats, kick returner Sajun Bibbs was running down the sidelines. On the opening kickoff of Friday’s game against the Morningside Monarchs, Bibbs sprinted downfield 75 yards before getting tackled at the Monarchs’ 21-yard line. The Normans completed eight more plays during the drive, but a pass to tight end Jared Forman was short of the goal line. The Normans were forced to kick a field goal, which ended up being short of the uprights.
These truncated drives seemed to haunt the Normans during the entire game, as they were not once able to get into the end zone.
“Somehow momentum was with us the whole game and we just couldn’t capitalize,” quarterback Zack Bialobos said. “We had a tough time running the ball in the red zone.”
The Normans seemed to have much less trouble on defense. They forced two turnovers and had seven sacks, keeping the Monarchs from scoring until the end of the third quarter.
“Our defense played really well, everyone hustled to the ball and made the tackles and stops we needed to make,” lineman Leonard Ferdman said.
The Monarchs missed their extra-point on their first score, leaving the entire fourth quarter open for a Norman comeback. However, the Monarchs scored with 1:30 remaining in the fourth and succeeded on their two-point conversion. The Normans were not able to score on their following drive as time expired and headed home with a 14-0 loss.
The Normans are taking this loss as a lesson for the future.
“I feel that we fought to the end and just need to work on our offense,” Bibbs said.
Because of a Culver City loss to Santa Monica, the Normans are still eligible for the playoffs. They must win their next two games against Hawthorne and Culver City, while both Culver City and Inglewood must lose this Friday.
This Friday, Oct. 26, the Normans are hosting Hawthorne (1-7) for Homecoming.