In a game where the offense was shut down for the first time, the Brahmas lost their conference opener to the Santa Barbara City College (SBCC) Vaqueros.
SBCC’s offense was on track as they beat the Brahmas 63-0.
Assistant head coach and offensive lineman coach Blake Word knew they were disadvantaged from the start.
“They’ve got 80 to 90, probably 100 kids,” Word said. “They’ve got people sitting, they can rotate, they can keep kids fresh. It’s never been a talent issue for us, we have very talented kids, but we just don’t have replacements for them so they’re giving everything they got every game. ”
Spirits were high amongst the Brahmas as they hoped to finally turn the tides in their favor for once. Unfortunately, they had no such luck.
Emotions were running high throughout the first half and what once seemed like excited energy turned into disappointment and rage before the end of the first quarter.
The Vaqueros were very vocal about their impressive lead and it was clearly working to damper the enthusiasm of the Brahmas. If that wasn’t enough to unsettle the Brahma team spirit, they were also facing a numbers deficit.
A weak start by the Brahmas gave the Vaqueros a 21-0 lead by the end of the first quarter, and things continued to go downhill.
The Brahmas seemed unable to complete a pass or get more than five yards at a time the whole game. The passes that were complete were immediately tackled by the Vaqueros.
The second quarter saw some good defensive work by the Brahmas, but not enough to give them the advantage they needed over the Vaqueros. The score at the half was 28-0, but by then, the game was already over.
Morale isn’t a new problem for the Brahmas, but it seems to be the one hardship they can’t shake.
Quarterback Matthew Abajian knows when the attitude is poor, so is the performance.
“We like to fall apart when things don’t go our way and it throws the whole game off,” Abajian said. “We need to come out with energy and not try to find that energy midgame. We need to strike first and come out hot.”
The Vaqueros played aggressively and the Brahmas were unable to get themselves together enough to interfere. The Vaqueros scored three times in the third quarter and twice more in the fourth.
The final score was 63-0 making this the first game where Pierce hasn’t scored a single touchdown.
The tension after the game was palpable but most of the players seem to be used to this kind of disappointment. It’s clear that if the Brahmas continue to play like how they did on Saturday, there will be more losses to come.
Defeat is a familiar feeling for the Brahmas now, but coach Jamere Austin doesn’t want to give up just yet and if nothing else, he wants this to be an opportunity for his team to grow.
“We just have to not give up,” Austin said. “We don’t have too much to lose right now as long as our guys just keep playing, racking in highlights and they can get their offers, that’s the best I can ask for.”
The Brahmas play Moorpark on Saturday, Oct. 22. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.
The next home game for Pierce will be their homecoming against Antelope Valley on Nov. 5. One week later, they’ll face LA Valley for the Victory Bell.