Warriors blanked in football season opener at Westview

Fallbrook High varsity middle linebacker Randy Arnold (No. 43) forces a fumble that was recovered by defensive end Joseph Portillo.

The Fallbrook High varsity football team lost its season opener on the road at Westview High in San Diego Aug. 25 and mental errors contributed greatly to the 41-0 defeat, according to new head coach Darius Pickett.

Pickett said mistakes were made on both sides of the ball as the Warriors sputtered on offense in their first game employing a spread formation, and gave up too many big plays on defense due to blown assignments and missed tackles.

Westview scored 14 points in both the first and second quarters and another 13 in the third quarter. Neither team scored in the fourth quarter.

Pickett said his immediate impression following the game was that Westview had simply outmuscled his squad, however, after watching tape of the contest, his opinion changed.

“Initially, right after the game, I did think they physically dominated us and honestly, if that was the case, that would be scary to me because that’s not something you can really fix during the season,” said Pickett. “After watching film, it was just a bunch of mental errors that we just constantly made. So for me, that’s positive, because we can fix that.”

The Wolverines’ scoring successes included touchdown strikes of 51- and 36-yards on pass plays. The Warriors missed tackles on both plays.

“Defensively it was just big plays that they made and, again, mental mistakes by us,” said Pickett. “And instead of hurting us for first downs, it was touchdowns.”

As for the Warriors’ run defense, Pickett said, “I think physically we were decent against the run. I think they had one big run on us, and we missed a tackle, but other than that I think we were pretty good against the run.”

The Warriors offense, with junior Jake McBroom making his first varsity start at quarterback, was off-kilter.

“It was a lot of mental mistakes, partly due to the new offense, the new system,” said Pickett. “I think they’ll get used to it. Jake made some good reads (of the defense), but I think nerves took over and he overthrew some balls, which you would expect from a first-time starting quarterback in a varsity game. But just as he improved from May (practices) until this point, I think he’ll get that under control and continue to get better like he did over the summer.”

Pickett said the message to players in practices will remain the same: “Do your job. Do what you’re supposed to do, every down.”

On a positive note, the junior varsity team came back from a 14-6 halftime deficit to defeat Westview 18-14.

“That was a great win by those guys,” said Pickett of the JV team.

Fallbrook will be in San Diego again this Friday (Sept. 1) for a road game against Del Norte, which lost its season opener to Carlsbad 49-0. The Warriors will play their home opener Sept. 8 when they host Torrey Pines. Both games start at 7 p.m.

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