ARTS & CULTURE EDITOR
A silence fell over the crowd after junior safety and cornerback George Herrero (6) broke several bones in his right arm in a defensive play, which led the Barons coaching staff to end the game against Rancho Verde High School early, with almost three minutes left on the clock.
The Friday, Aug. 31 game at Mustang Stadium resulted in the Barons’ third loss of the season with a final score of 6-63.
“There was no effect at all [on the Baron’s spirit]. The guys are competing; we knew what we were getting into looking at the schedule. Our first two games were both against top ten teams.” Defensive Coordinator Lawrence Lee said. “[Rancho Verde High School] was a top team in the state so the guys knew what [to expect.]”
Immediately after sophomore defensive back and running back Damon Ward (23) scored a touchdown for Rancho Verde High School, the scene of a BVH player on the floor in pain drew the attention of everyone’s eyes.
“What I felt during the end of the 4th quarter? I don’t care what anybody says. I still believe that we can do whatever we set our minds to. At the fourth quarter, I don’t care what the score says. It’s all up to what our mindset is,” junior linebacker, safety and wide receiver Jose Morales (44) said.
After losing 0-35 to the St. Augustine Saints and 0-62 to the Madison warhawks, the Barons maintained a competitive spirit going into their third game of the season, according to Lee.
“We got a touchdown on the board—our first one in three games,” Head varsity Football Coach Sam Kirkland said at halftime. “We moved the ball a little bit, but we’ve just got to be a little bit more consistent.”
During the first half, the Barons worked productively, during peaking at the first quarter by gaining considerable yardage. The game’s trajectory changed by the 1st quarter, when the Barons’ punt was blocked by senior defensive back Oscar Franco Jr. (7), similar to their previous game against the St. Augustine Saints.Franco Jr. translated this into a 17 yard return followed by a successful point after touchdown. The score was then 7-0, with the Barons beginning to fall behind.
That changed in the end of the second quarter, when the Barons gained possession and scored their first touchdown of the season. In the first two downs, sophomore running back, safety and quarterback Saiyvionn Williams (4) moved the ball deep onto the field before being put in as a substitute quarterback and completing an 85 yard touchdown pass for junior wide receiver and safety Ron Vann (13) on the play’s second attempt.
“I dropped it [in the first attempt] and I knew how to make that up for my team and for myself,” Vann said.
Before the game, BVH football coaching staff told their players aspiring to play in college that they should treat this game as a test, which motivated Vann to pave the way to what he expects to be a productive season.
“We knew this was a big physical team and, relatively speaking, we’ve got some bumps and bruises. We lost a player to a broken bone there at the end, but we’ve played a brutal schedule,” Lee said.
The Baron’s fourth quarter consisted of three incomplete passes from senior quarterback, safety and wide receiver Kevin Rozar (2), concluding with Herrero’s injury and a 6-63 defeat.
According to Quarterback coach and assistant Offensive Coordinator Brandon Hawkins, key players included Saiyvionn Williams, who achieved 98.9 percent of the Baron’s rushing yards with a total of 26, and Rozar, who had 48.5 passing yards and gained 93.8 percent of the Baron’s total yards: 56.
After their third loss of the season, the Barons look forward to a matchup against the Steele Canyon Sept. 7.
“I spent the weekend with George and his family because that’s my brother and his dad’s the coach,” Vann said. “George said during this week of practice everyone needs to be quiet and focus on the task ahead of us.”