FARRELL 55 EAST 0
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
Farrell 55 East 0
FARRELL - Heading into his team's season opener against East, Farrell coach Jarrett Samuels had very little information about his opponent, which obviously made him somewhat anxious.
"I was nervous, because we didn't have any film on (East) and this is the first time in my young seven years of coaching that we didn't have anything to go off of and it's like you have a phone conversation (with East coach Leonard Ford) and they say we are going to run this, we are going to run that, like a scrimmage so I didn't know what to expect," said Samuels. "Usually Class AAA teams have a lot of talent and a lot of skill and can match up with you, so we had to approach it kind of like we were going in blindfolded so that is why I was kind of weary."
In the end there was no need to fret though as Samuels' Steelers jumped out to a 29-0 lead by the end of the first quarter and increased the advantage to 48-0 by halftime on their way to a 55-0 win in a game where the clock ran continuously after halftime due to the PIAA mercy rule.
Farrell (1-0) has now six consecutive regular season openers, although each of the last five came in the "Steel Bowl" against Shenango Valley rival Sharon, which has come to a halt, for at least the next two years, due to a number of reasons.
"There were a lot of things that happened politically that was beyond our control on their side and on our side," said Samuels. "The Steel Bowl is still there on my desk, it's not going anywhere and in two years we'll revisit it, but everyone is saying that we are afraid to play Sharon and that is ludicrous. Our schedule is loaded, we're not scared to play Ursuline (Ohio), why would be scared to play Sharon, but it's just one of those things, they wanted to move the game and there was a lot of stuff that was floating out there and the one thing about us is that we aren't going to be bullied by anybody."
On this night Farrell did the bullying, especially on defense, as it forced East (0-1) into nine turnovers (eight in the first half) and brought three of them back for scores. One of those defensive touchdowns came on a 55-yard fumble return by senior defensive tackle Derrick Carter, who is in his fourth season as a starter and on this night added one more accomplishment to his already impressive high school football resume.
"It was exciting and that's all I have to say about it," said Carter. "It was a new experience."
"(Carter) wants to be a running back, but at a school like Farrell that is impossible, but he's been like that all through camp," said Samuels. "He's been our main guy up front, and we are hoping that he can get the other guys together and play get them to play like him."
Marcus McCoy's two-yard fumble return and Terrell Atkins' 57-yard interception return accounted Farrell's other two defensive touchdowns and Atkins added touchdown runs of 15 and 22 yards. Alex Myers (54), Devaughan Green (10) and John Jackson (65) also had touchdown runs for Farrell.
After opening last season 4-1, Farrell closed the year with four straight losses and gave up a total of 159 points in the setbacks, so Samuels hopes this outing is a sign of things to come.
"We did a very good job of being disciplined and getting after it and that's how our guys have got to play," said Samuels. "We are going to be undersized going into these (region) games and a lot of opponents are going to attempt to ground and pound us, so we have to establish the middle and be tougher."
With the additions of Wilmington and Reynolds to a Region 1 that was already loaded, Samuels knows that every week is going to be a grind, which is something he has stressed to his team.
"This is the strongest region we've had since I've been coaching and I told our guys that on any given Friday or Saturday anybody can beat anybody, so you've got to bring your A game and we just want to be in the hunt at the end."
This coming Friday Farrell begins a stretch of four straight region games by traveling to Reynolds.
NOTES: As mentioned Farrell has now won six straight regular season openers and its last loss came exactly six years before Friday's game, on August 29, 2008. East has now lost four straight season openers and holds the unwanted distinction of holding District 10's longest current losing streak, which now sits at 19 games.
East 0-0-0-0 0
Farrell 29-19-7-0 55