Regardless of whom they played, there was something a little surreal about seeing both Monte Vista and Foothill at 0-1 after one week of high school football. This weekend’s results were a little more in line with what we’re used to.
On Thursday, though, the Mustangs looked like the Mustangs again in dispatching Merrill West-Tracy. Does this mean Monte Vista is off the hook for not showing up the week before? Not a chance. West is in a major rebuilding year after graduating a pair of outstanding senior classes — but the Mustangs did exactly what they should do to an inferior opponent, and they looked good doing it.
Foothill, meanwhile, had its own questions to answer after its opening day loss to Novato — questions like “Who’s the quarterback?” That one was answered, sort of, on Friday. Senior Bryan Kruger returned from injury and started over sophomore (and coach John Mannion’s son) Sean Mannion in Foothill’s win over Berkeley. Mannion had started the opener and performed fairly well, while Kruger wasn’t asked to do much in Friday’s game.
Junior Cameron Coon was expected to be the starter, but he’s out with a back injury and doesn’t look like he’ll be back anytime soon. That leaves John Mannion with a decision — go with the undersized senior or the promising sophomore who happens to be his son. That could wind up being the first big decision of the first-year coach’s career, and it could play a big role in determining what Foothill can accomplish this season.
No one will play a bigger role, though, than Rob Andrews. The senior fullback/linebacker was the difference against the Yellow Jackets, who did a decent job of containing the Falcons early. As long as Andrews stays healthy and keeps falling forward for 4 yards on every run (and Austin Day keeps stretching defenses laterally), Foothill will remain a team to be reckoned with — regardless of who’s under center.
And speaking of Berkeley, it’s hard not to think that Alonzo Carter will turn the Yellow Jackets into winners eventually. His passion and presence on the sideline demands respect, and once he’s got a full roster of players buying in, he’ll be ready to take his team to great heights just like he did at McClymonds. Just don’t expect it to happen this year — as Carter said Friday, “We’re trying to undo some bad habits. It’s going to take a while.” Berkeley has speed and a fair amount of talent, but not enough to compete with the Foothills of the world.
— James Leonard