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’Jackets’ tough preseason continues against Logan

By Jared Green Daily Planet Staff
Friday September 14, 2001

Berkeley High hosts Colts in rematch 

A week after taking a 37-0 beating at the hands of Foothill High, the Berkeley High varsity football team will try to regroup this Friday for their second game of the season. It won’t be easy, however, as the ’Jackets play host to South Bay power James Logan, a team that beat them 52-27 last season. 

Logan runs Neal Fromson’s fly option offense, an attack based on misdirection that thrives with quick backs. The Colts have a tremendously deep offense, led by quarterback Brandon Ting and running back Rodney Roy. Those two gave Berkeley fits last year, and could thrive again this season against the inexperienced ’Jacket defense. 

Most of Berkeley’s offense against the Colts last year came from star running back Ramone Reed, since graduated. Berkeley has an explosive replacement in Germaine Baird, but Baird had a disappointing debut against Foothill, carrying just eight times for 76 yards and fumbling the ball away on his first carry. Head coach Matt Bissell will likely give the ball to Baird more this week, as a big day from the senior is probably the team’s best hope for an upset win. 

Quarterback Raymond Pinkston had a fairly impressive debut, completing half of his passes against Foothill and hitting five different receivers. But the offense lacked the threat of the long ball, as Pinkston’s longest completion went for 15 yards. Wide receiver Lee Franklin, the team’s best deep threat, had an off day, with just one catch for positive yardage and two drops. As with Baird, Franklin needs to have a big day on offense for Berkeley to threaten Logan. 

For a defense that gave up 37 points, the Yellowjackets didn’t actually have that bad a day against Foothill. Other than two runs for 52 and 30 yards, they were good against the ground game, as huge tackles Jamal Johnson and Juleen Jacobs clogged the middle. Defensive end Greg Mitchell also had a solid day, but the other end, Akeem Brown, went down with an injury early in the game and wasn’t a factor. Against Logan, it will be imperative that the linemen fill their holes to let the linebackers roam free of blockers to decipher the complex Colt offense. 

The Berkeley secondary came out slowly last week and it cost them, as Foothill quarterback Billy Andrade piled up 132 first-half passing yards. Cornerbacks Justin Cain and Shawn Brown looked hesitant to play press coverage, instead backing off and allowing easy completions that turned into long gains.  

Franklin had a solid game at safety when he played, but will be needed to expend more energy on offense this week, while partner Craig Hollis looked tentative, completely missing an open-field tackle on a 30-yard Foothill touchdown run. The entire secondary will be counted on to help out stopping the run against the Colts.