It has been 16 months since football has last seen itself take the stage under the big lights. Many schools all over the Central Valley were able to begin their long awaited football season this past week, one of these teams being our very own San Joaquin Memorial Panthers.
On Friday March 26 our Panthers faced Palma High School. Palma is a small Catholic school from Salinas, California.
The Panthers were filled with excitement because they finally got to step back on the field after more than a year spent off of it. In fact, one of the most exciting things for these Panther athletes was being able to wear their formal dress with their jersey, a tradition that has been around Memorial’s football team for many years.
When the clock struck seven the game finally began. The first kickoff got everyone excited and ready to play. In the first quarter the game had a slow start as neither teams were able to put points on the board. However when the Panthers were on defense, junior TJ Hall was able to bait Palma’s offense and Hall intercepted the pass and ran 100 yards down to score a Panther touchdown. Hall started his game off early with a huge pick 6!
After the first touchdown the Panthers finally got rolling. The Panther's offense began running the ball like crazy; SJM had a total of 373 rushing yards. Hall rushed for a total of 101 yards, senior Jordan Hornbeak rushed for 93 yards, senior Tyler Mackulin rushed for 98 yards, sophomore Brandon Ramirez rushed for 68 yards and sophomore Donovan Harris rushed for 13 yards.
While on offense the Panthers scored 5 touchdowns! Hall earned himself 3 touchdowns, Ramirez 1 touchdown and senior Mackulin also 1. Senior Carlo Bravo kicked for a total of 7 points on Friday night, helping to advance the Panthers' score even more.
On the defensive side of things the Panthers were on fire! Palma struggled to get past our dangerous defensive line. The Panthers had a total of 3 sacks, 1 caused fumble and 1 fumble recovery. Senior Aric Eades caused the fumble, while sophomore Ramirez recovered.
The Panthers finished the game strong and won 37 to 14! The Panthers advance in the season 1-0 as they move on to their next opponent Lemoore. This game will be played Thursday April 1 at 7 PM. Remember if you want to support and watch your Panthers, make sure to check out our school's livestream!