Jackson Prince, co-editor-in-chief
The Normans fell to Templeton High School, 41-7, at home on Friday night, mainly attributed to Templeton’s “no-huddle offense” and a lack of familiarity to “game speed,” according to head coach Charlie Stansbury.
Though the stat-line shows a respectable margin between the teams, the numbers tell a different story: the Normans have grown as a team since last year.
Beverly had not held a lead in over 40 quarters of football until the Templeton matchup. A goal-line touchdown by fullback Roshad Thomas, set up by a 14-play, 87-yard drive highlighted by running back Sebastian Torres’s 47 yards on five carries, put the Normans up 7-0. They held the lead until the 6:20 mark in the second quarter.
Stansbury noted that the run game was a factor in Friday’s success, noting the “inexperienced” offensive line.
“To come out the first game and run like that, that was great for us,” he said. “We’d like to obviously see [that success] transfer to more points on the board. The one thing we’ve got to do a little bit better in the run game is to get those second-level blocks so we can spring those guys. Those 10-yard runs can turn into 18-, 20-yard runs.”
Torres anchored the first half of the ground work, gaining 63 yards on nine carries in the first two quarters alone. Running back Joe Kolko, whom wide receiver Niall Bauer described as being “unable to feel pain,” racked up 75 yards on 11 total carries.
Three personal fouls, as well as a few missed tackles and defensive miscues leading to gaps in the secondary, gave Templeton enough room to pull away from the Normans, especially after halftime.
By the middle of the fourth quarter, Kolko, Thomas and quarterback Michael Massie (who doubled as the starting cornerback) sat on the sidelines with injuries.
While a few coaches were overheard discussing Massie’s role on both sides of the ball, the senior “is the best guy we’ve got at quarterback and he’s the best guy we’ve got at cornerback,” according to Stansbury.
“When you get in some crucial situations, there are guys you want in there,” Stansbury said. “That’s something we as coaches have to work on, just knowing where and when to plug those guys in. Tonight we learned a lesson in that. But at the same time, I don’t think [Massie] wants to come off the field.”
All three Normans are on track to play at home against North Torrance on Friday, Sept. 12.
Stansbury was “excited” to see the attendance by the student body at the Normans’ first home contest.
“One of the things we all love about high school football is that no matter what your record is, no matter what your team looks like, the support for your kids and the effort that they put in is tremendous. To see [the support] is great and I hope we can keep it going for the rest of the year,” he said.