Varsity football kicks off season with 54-0 loss

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Running back Alex Dennis breaks the huddle before the game.

AJ Wolken staff writer

The varsity football team suffered a season opening loss at the hands of the Oak Park Eagles, 54-0 in their season opener on Friday, Aug. 26, at Oak Park High School.

After a busy offseason, which included a completely new coaching staff and a loss of 24 seniors, the football team kicked off the season Friday. For the sixth consecutive year, the Normans start out the season at 0-1.

This was the first varsity game for many juniors on the team. Junior Jeremiah Klapper started at quarterback for his first time in his high school career, and went into the game with nothing but excitement.

“We were all excited to go out and play for the first time this year. We all just wanted to do our individual job and play our hardest,” Klapper said.

As soon as Oak Park got the ball, they made their presence known. On the Eagles’ first offensive play, they threw a screen pass to star receiver, Reece Smith, who sprinted past junior Brian Harward for a 50 yard gain.

“They threw a simple screen. We knew they would run it. Six [Smith] came in and I was partially blocked, but six got around me and got a pretty big gain,” Harward said.

The Eagles’ first play set the tone for the rest of the game. Beverly could not make anything out of their possessions, while Oak Park scored on nearly every drive. Going into halftime the score was 32-0, but that didn’t change the mentality of the Normans.

“[Our mentality going into halftime was] win the second half, score more points than they do the second half, and keep playing our hardest out there,” Klapper said.

The second half wasn’t much different from the first as Oak Park continued to dominate the Normans all over the field, finalizing their victory at 54-0. Accordingly, Beverly is readily putting the loss behind them and looking forward to next week’s game.

“The mentality is to watch film, correct our mistakes, and keep our heads up,” Klapper said. “We think we have a really good chance at going into Nordhoff and coming out with a win.”

Varsity football’s next game will be the first home game of the season, against Nordhoff on Friday, Sep. 2 at 7 p.m.

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