School is in session, and that means football is on the prowl.
The Mission High Freshman/Sophomore Bears went hunting for a victory Friday night in their first preseason game against Hercules High School, but suffered a 19-6 loss instead.
On a gloomy, cold evening at Kezar Stadium, the Bears at times played like cubs, showing a lack of fundamentals on both sides of the ball.
On their first play, the Bears threw an interception that resulted in Hercules scoring on an impressive drive down the field with 5:18 seconds left in the first quarter.
The Bears got the ball back a little over three minutes into the first quarter, but once again threw an interception. A few downs later, Hercules threw a deep pass on a fourth down conversion attempt, but the ball was juggled and the Bears were lucky to avoid a touchdown. On a turn of downs, the first snap was fumbled because of miscommunication between the center and the quarterback.
The Bears had trouble with unnecessary penalties, ball security, key blocks and defensive assignments that gave Hercules a 13-0 lead five minutes into the second quarter.
“We had a lot of guys on the right position but couldn’t have them make the plays, so we’ve got to get back to the practice plan and get them working together,” said Bears head coach Jeff Stancil.
The Bears threatened to score with less than a minute left in the first half but were two yards short of the goal line.
Mission played a tight second half. On a punt return, they were able to get into the red zone but failed to convert a fourth down. This left Hercules pinned deep in Bear territory, but on the first plays of the possession, the running back ran for 98 yards to take a 19-0 lead.
With a few minutes left in the half, the Bears were able to punch one in and avoid a blowout.
Coach Stancil is excited to see how the team moves forward from this loss and will try for victory next week.
The Freshman/Sophmore Bears will play their first game of the season against Menlo High on Friday, Sept. 7, at Menlo High. The game starts at 3 p.m.