Pinole Valley deals ’Jackets their first ACCAL loss
Please forgive the Pinole Valley Spartans. They can just be downright rude at times. Not only are they possessive, direct, and offensive, but they demand constant attention. Nobody looks for these traits when they’re trying to find that special someone. But to find these characteristics in a high school football offense? If only everyone could get this lucky.
The Spartans (7-1, 3-1 ACCAL) rode their dominating offense to a 47-28 win over the Berkeley Yellowjackets (3-5, 3-1) by scoring on seven of their 10 offensive possessions, cruising out to 40 first half points, racking up 446 total yards, and scoring on the very first play from scrimmage when running back D’Andre McFarland transformed a sweep right into a broken tackle and a 67-yard touchdown jaunt.
Early scores are nothing new for the sixth-best yardage offense in the Bay Area. McFarland finished the night with 168 rushing yards, 75 receiving yards and three touchdowns. Call him Big Play D’Andre: McFarland tallied runs of 26, 43, and 67 yards and scored a 67-yard touchdown reception late in the first half. For the night, the Spartans pulled off nine plays of at least 20 yards, averaging 9.3 yards per play. Move over, St. Louis Rams!
Throwing McFarland the football was the Bay Area’s top-rated passer, quarterback Adrian Smith, who entered the game with 14 touchdowns and 1091 passing yards. Smith added to his league-leading statistics by completing 10 of 13 pass attempts for 173 yards and three touchdowns.
Four different Spartans tallied at least two receptions. Leading the way was super split end Marcus Maxwell, who entered the game with the third-highest yardage (624) and fifth-highest reception (34) marks in the Bay Area. The ‘Jackets "held" Maxwell in check for most of the game, however, to just three receptions for 81 yards and a 27-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter.
As for Berkeley, the ’Jackets found themselves playing catch-up all game long. This limited the number of carries for the sixth-best rusher in the Bay Area, Ramone Reed. A true warrior, Reed rushed 15 times for 121 yards and caught four passes for 97 yards and a touchdown. Reed alone accounted for 218 of Berkeley’s 369 total yards and beckoned his teammates on during the game, noting "this is not the day to be walking!" Nothing could stop Reed on this night, not even an injury to his right leg that forced him to retreat to the sidelines for a series.
The ‘Jackets pulled out all the stops in the second half. Down 40-14, Berkeley head coach Gary Weaver utilized the reverse, the halfback option pass to the quarterback, and even the good ol’ hook and lateral pass. But it was too little, too late, and not even a sensational 65-yard punt return in the fourth quarter by Anthony Lee Franklin could rescue the ‘Jackets from their misery.
Penalties continue to be the thorn in Berkeley’s side, as the ‘Jackets committed eight infractions for 60 yards. Six of the eight penalties were either false starts or encroachment gaffes, and a 40-yard pass reception by Charles West with 1:53 remaining in the first half was wiped out because of a personal foul.
Berkeley faces another difficult opponent next week when they square off at home against the El Cerrito Gauchos at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 3.