Harker Aquila

Football cruises to a 26-2 victory over Marina

Lineman+and+captain+Ayush+Vyas+%2812%29+celebrates+after+Harker%27s+26-2+win.+%22We%E2%80%99ve+had+some+great+games+so+far+and+we%E2%80%99re+showing+that+we+can+compete+with+anybody+out+there%2C%22+Ayush+said.+%22A+little+slow+start+to+the+year%2C+but+we%E2%80%99ve+bounced+back+and+I+think+last+year+was+just+motivation+for+us+to+keep+going+this+year+and+play+harder.%22
Lineman and captain Ayush Vyas (12) celebrates after Harker's 26-2 win.

Lineman and captain Ayush Vyas (12) celebrates after Harker's 26-2 win. "We’ve had some great games so far and we’re showing that we can compete with anybody out there," Ayush said. "A little slow start to the year, but we’ve bounced back and I think last year was just motivation for us to keep going this year and play harder."

Aditya Singhvi

Aditya Singhvi

Lineman and captain Ayush Vyas (12) celebrates after Harker's 26-2 win. "We’ve had some great games so far and we’re showing that we can compete with anybody out there," Ayush said. "A little slow start to the year, but we’ve bounced back and I think last year was just motivation for us to keep going this year and play harder."

by Aditya Singhvi, Sports Editor

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The varsity football team cruised to a smooth 26-2 victory against the Marina High School Mariners on Friday night, bringing the Eagles’ record to 3-1 for the season and extending their streak to three wins.

The Eagles scored three quick touchdowns in the second quarter to amass a 19-0 lead, which proved to be indomitable for the Mariners thanks to a resilient Harker defense and several standout individual plays.

Following a historic run last year that included the Eagles’ first-ever CIF semifinals appearance, the much younger and less experienced team this year is focused on working hard and improving every single day throughout the season.

“The young guys and the leaders have done an awesome job of making sure that we focus on improving every week to get results like this instead of focusing on trying to win games,” head coach Mike Tirabassi said. “All they care about is getting better every day, which is why they’re having the results that they’re having.” 

Although Harker started the game off strong, advancing to the red zone on their first drive, a fumble led to Marina gaining possession. The Eagles’ strong defense prevented Marina from scoring, and after Harker regained possession, running back Marcus Tymous (12) rushed for a 2-yard touchdown in the middle of the second quarter.

Marcus Anderson (10) then forced a fumble by the Mariners on their kick return, which Jared Anderson (12) subsequently recovered and returned for a 45-yard touchdown. This put the Eagles up 13-0 after Marina blocked the extra point. 

Harker then recovered their own onside kick and amassed another touchdown, although missing the two-point conversion. The Mariners gained possession but were thwarted yet again at the goal line by defensive back Sid Dudyala (11). Although Marina soon scored a safety, bringing the score to 19-2, the Eagles still walked into the locker room at halftime with a commanding 17-point lead.

“We had great coaching. Whenever we could improve, we corrected our mistakes. We have a young team, and we’ve learned really quickly, on the fly, and I’m very proud of my guys,” said lineman and captain Ayush Vyas (12).

Spectators enjoyed a halftime routine on Davis Field by the Harker cheer squad, who also performed during the game to hype up the team and crowd. The cheerleaders also welcomed the players back on the field after halftime, holding the “Eagle Power” poster that the team charged through. 

“The support by the crowd was awesome,” Tirabassi said. “The support makes a big difference in a football game, so I’d like to thank all the fans for coming out and supporting our guys.”

Harker began the second half by receiving a Marina kickoff. With about five minutes to go in the third, quarterback Anthony Meissner (12) connected with wide receiver Jared Anderson for a 34-yard touchdown. With the ensuing extra point, the score became 26-2 in favor of the Eagles.

Through effective defense during the rest of the second half and impressive rushing by running back Devin Keller (11), the Eagles locked down the rest of the game and won comfortably with a final score of 26-2.

“Our defense did an amazing job on the field,” Tirabassi said. “Marcus Anderson, a sophomore, had an awesome game… Jared Anderson played an awesome game, had some big plays, [so did] both Meissner brothers. We did a good job on the offensive line, we did a good job on the defense and had a bunch of skilled players that had a good game.”

After last year’s senior class graduated, many players have had to step into leadership roles. The team captains for this year are seniors Anthony Meissner, Jared Anderson, Mitchell Granados and Ayush Vyas.

“We’ve had some great games so far, and we’re showing that we can compete with anybody out there,” Ayush said. “[We had] a little slow start to the year, but we’ve bounced back and I think last year is just motivation for us to keep going this year and play harder.”

The Eagles’ will look to extend their winning streak this Friday at Watsonville High School against St. Francis, who currently possess a 2-1 record. The next home game will be held on Sept. 21 against Lowell High.

Quarterback Anthony Meissner (12) rushes with the ball to escape an incoming Mariner. "This team that we have, the young guys and the leaders have done an awesome job of making sure that we focus on improving every week to get results like this instead of focusing on trying to win games. And all they care about is getting better every day, which is why they’re having the results that they’re having," head coach Mike Tirabassi said.

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Football cruises to a 26-2 victory over Marina