McKinleyville struggles in opener, falls 37-3 to St. Vincent de Paul

McKinleyville falls 37-3 to St. Vincent de Paul in opener

McKinelyville High’s running back Caleb Martinez looks for some room to run during a 37-3 loss to St. Vincent de Paul, Friday night at the Redwood Bowl. (Jose Quezada — For the Times-Standard)

McKinleyville High will have to wait a week for another try at its first win of the season as it fell in its season opener to visiting St. Vincent de Paul-Petaluma 37-3 Friday night at the Redwood Bowl.

The Mustangs opened the game with a 7-play drive, running right at the Panthers with each play. When Mustangs quarterback Jacob Porteous finally dropped back to pass, he even got in on the act, scrambling for a 7-yard touchdown for the first score of the game.

The Panthers initial drive didn’t go according to plan as a mishandled toss from quarterback Jack Patton to running back Kyler Carr deep in the Panthers territory bounced into their own endzone. After a scramble for the ball, the Mustangs came up with it in the home team’s endzone for its second score of the night.

Things didn’t get better for the Panthers at any point for the remainder of the game as their offense never found their stride and the defense, their footing.

Patton got off to a slow start in the second half as he threw back-to-back interceptions deep in Panthers territory on screen plays, the second of which was returned for a touchdown by defensive linemen Tommy Izard.

Freshman running back Kia Hall was the best player on the field Friday night for either team. He rushed for four touchdowns, including a 50-yard run early in the fourth quarter.

The Panthers came into the game undermanned after losing two starting linemen. Head coach Keoki Burbank knows this team has plenty of work to do going forward.

“We have to focus on all aspects of the game this next week,” Burbank said. “We got outplayed at all three levels tonight.”

On the bright side, players like Che Jimenez stepped up big-time playing both sides of the ball.  His interception in the fourth wasn’t the most memorable play, yet for the Panthers it showed the team might be in for a fight this season as they have some kids on the field who are up to the task.

McKinleyville (0-1) will hit the road next week for a Friday game at Willits while St. Vincent de Paul (1-0) will stay on the road as it heads to Cloverdale on Friday.

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