Going into their third game of the season, the Albany High School Varsity Football team had a record of 0-2. Despite losing both of their away games, the Cougars were excited about playing at home.
The Cougars’ heated rivalry with Piedmont added extra significance to the game. “I normally don’t like Piedmont because of our rivalry, but on game day, my hatred for them grew exponentially,” explained junior tight end Krishan Chadha.
Unfortunately for Albany, the game’s outcome didn’t reflect the feeling of excitement they had coming into the game as Piedmont rolled the Cougars 42-14.
“I think that as a team, we weren’t prepared mentally. Mistakes that were made were caused by a lack of focus by both the offense and the defense. We just simply did not come to play last Friday,” lamented senior captain Michael Rabin.
A lingering concern for Cougar fans is who will be the starting quarterback.
“Quarterback is an open competition, and we’ll make our decisions based on the week’s practices. Currently it is a work in progress,” explained head coach John Trotman.
Although the score didn’t show it, there were a few highlights for the Cougars. Rabin caught a screen pass and ran 30 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter.
Late in the game, fellow captain and senior Brandon Stephens took a handoff and darted 25 yards for a score.
On defense, seniors Eddy Jimenez, Quinn Miyashiro, Dom Pelesauma and Rafael Menjivar all helped control the Highlander’s offensive attack.
“I feel like that game had less to do with how good Piedmont was, and more to do with our own teams’ performance. It was our first home game and I was nervous about the attitudes of the players during the previous week. I noticed many of the players were messing around, talking to their friends and not focusing on the task at hand. We can learn from that and play better,” said coach Trotman.
The Cougars look to bounce back from their loss against Piedmont when they visit St. Mary’s on Saturday, September 15.