The Marin County Pride had what seemed to be a promising game on Saturday before their hopes of a victory were dashed in the second half. This was the fourth game of the season for the Marin team that hoped to turn their two game losing streak around. The Pride were playing the undefeated Santa Cruz Gladiators in Corte Madera.
The Pride scored 13 points in the first quarter with the Gladiators getting a touchdown and an extra point in the second quarter bringing the score 13-7. Neither team scored in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter the Gladiators scored and were able to defeat the Pride by one point with a score of 14-13.
Coach Reed, Defensive Coordinator for the Gladiators stressed that improving defense is where his focus is at. “Defense is the focal point and offense wins game, defense wins championships. We've only given up one touchdown in three (previous) games. We're limiting other teams to 50-60 yards total offense a game,“ Reed said.
Gladiators head coach Rich Atkinson noted his team's defense was stronger than their offense. “I think what we need to do is pick up our offense to try to match the defense,” he said.
Gladiator quarterback Robert Atkinson scored the team's first TD in the game. “Offense has been having a tough time getting things going in the past couple of games. We pick things up a little bit but still have to get that ball rolling,” he said.
While the Gladiators celebrated a win and pondered their offense, the Marin County Pride were focused on using another loss as a learning experience. Looking back at their 37-20 loss against the Central Valley Bengals last week Defensive Coordinator Ron Everette said, “Whenever you lose like that, you really don't lose. My philosophy is you have a winner and a learner, and we learned last week.”
This latest game was more frustrating for some as the loss was only by one point. “We need to stay together. Testosterone was real high today. By us doing that we can't play as a team. Short from a corncob field and we didn't get to eat,” Defensive linebacker Josh Shelton said.
The Pride named Defensive end Najee Pierson and Safety, Allan Vargas as their players of the week. Pierson was singled out for his nine tackles and three sacks. Vargas was also recognized for his for nine tackles and a touchdown. Also scoring a TD was running back, Josh Del Pino.
The Pride travel to face the Modesto Raiders next Saturday with the hopes of adding another win to their season. In the meantime they'll focus on growing together as a team.
“We still have a lot of young kids on the team and they need to grow up. They're getting there and I know that we're going to succeed in doing what we have to do with this team. All we have to do is play ball, all we have to do as a team is play ball and we have what we need,” Everette said.