High school sports

Mats get a learning experience

BOLSA didn’t have an answer for Beckman quarterback Austin Shepard, who was effective passing and running (Orange County Tribune photos).

By Jim Tortolano/Orange County Tribune

File this one under … learning experience.

The Bolsa Grande High football team, fresh off an opening game win and with a lot of talent from last year’s historic squad, received some education  on what was ironically “Teachers Night” Thursday night at its home stadium. The Matadors lost 62-0 to Beckman High of Irvine. Ouch.

Austin Shepard, the Patriots senior quarterback, was just too much for the Matador defense, just as Ethan Nguyen, the Matador senior quarterback, did not get much help from his team’s offense. He was constantly under pursuit and had some pretty good passes dropped.

Shepard got the visitors off to a quick start. On the Pats third play of the game, he scored on a keeper at the 9:47 mark of the quarter, and kicker Guy De Luca’s extra point gave them a 7-0 lead.

As it turned out, those turned out to be the winning points. The Pats scored twice more in the first quarter, the second TD  coming on a 2-yard plunge by Mahki Karpukhin at 2:48.

Shepard scrambled for a 36-yard touchdown at the 11:30 mark of the second quarter, and Karpukhin (along with De Luca’s kicks) scored on a seven-yard dash at 7:09.

That 35-0 edge would balloon to 49-0 at halftime as Shepard threw for two more scores.

ETHAN NGUYEN calls signals for Matadors.

For the second half, the game was played with a running clock and many substitutions were made. The Bolsa fans, who didn’t have much to shout about all night, cheered mightily when coach Michael Acosta put in number 4, Caroline Palm, a senior wide receiver, who ran several patterns but was never targeted.

Despite all that, the Matadors never gave up. Trailing 62-0 in the game’s final minutes, Nguyen scrambled to the 50-yard line and with just seconds on the clock, heaved a bomb to wide receiver Uriel Estrada near the goal line. It was a mighty effort but the play came up short and the shutout was not broken.

The Matadors (1-1) were clearly outmatched and made a lot of their own grief with muffed passes, fumbles and such. But sometimes that’s how you learn.

It can be seen how much education they absorbed when they host Artesia High on Friday, Sept. 1.

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