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Berkeley High coaches not satisfied with blowout win

Jared Green
Sunday September 29, 2002

A 43-7 win is usually a cause for celebration. But the Berkeley High coaches tore into their players after winning by that score over Kennedy High on Friday, citing a lackluster performance and poor discipline. 

Berkeley scored 21 points in the game’s first eight minutes, and it looked as if the Yellowjackets would have an insurmountable lead by halftime. But Berkeley took its foot off the gas, allowing the overmatched Eagles to hang around until the fourth quarter. 

The game was also marred by numerous personal fouls, one of which wiped out a 35-yard touchdown run by Berkeley fullback Aaron Boatwright, who scored three touchdowns despite the setback. 

“You have to hold your composure against a team like that,” Berkeley head coach Matt Bissell said. “Just beat them between the whistles. You can’t let the other team dictate your attitude and get caught up in all that extracurricular stuff.” 

Senior linebacker Owen Goldstrom had an outstanding game, racking up three sacks and 12 tackles. But as the leader of the defense, Goldstrom was upset that Kennedy scored a touchdown late in the game. 

“We should have had a shutout,” Goldstrom said. “[Kennedy] should have had negative yardage. Pittsburg held them to negative yards, and we have a better defense than Pittsburg.” 

Indeed, the 0-3 Eagles have failed to gain 100 yards in any of their first three games this season. Against such a lightweight opponent, Berkeley lacked a killer instinct. 

Boatwright scored two touchdowns in the opening quarter, a 7-yarder and a 10-yarder that were sandwiched around a Craig Hollis 21-yard score for a 21-0 Berkeley lead. But the Jackets wouldn’t score again for nearly 24 minutes of action, shooting themselves in the foot with a Jeff Spellman interception and a load of penalties. In all, Berkeley was flagged for 95 yards in penalties, more than twice as many yards as the Eagles managed to put up on offense. 

Boatwright scored again near the end of the third quarter on a sweep from the one-yard line. Backup quarterback Dessalines Gant threw a 20-yard touchdown to wideout Sean Young on Gant’s first play of the game, which won’t quiet the quarterback controversy after Spellman’s 5-for-10 passing day for just 54 yards. Sophomore Antoine Cokes finished the Berkeley scoring with a 14-yard touchdown run following a 76-yard kickoff return by Chris Watson. 

But the Eagles managed to get on the scoreboard as well in the fourth quarter, thanks mostly to their special teams. Eugene Clapps came unblocked on a punt and smothered it, then recovered the ball and rumbled down to the Berkeley two-yard line. Two plays later Jamahl Mackey blasted through the line for a touchdown.