Football: Turnovers, penalty yards and lack of production land the Monarchs on the losing side of CSL opener
By Patrick Dillon @pdillon_sgn
STRATHMORE – With the opening of their home stadium being postponed the Exeter Monarchs once again were forced to play at a neutral site last Friday night. This time at Spartan Stadium in Strathmore as the Monarchs (4-2; 0-1) opened up Central Sequoia League play by getting shutout 42-0 to the Kingsburg Vikings.
Exeter head coach Keirsten Lamb is confident that playing their sixth game of the season on the road had nothing to do with the loss.
“We’ve been on the road all year long so I don’t think that was the case,” said coach Lamb.
Instead it was a night were the Vikings (5-1; 1-0) did everything right and the Monarchs could not.
The Monarchs got the ball first and were able to put together a decent drive to mid-field. That was when Kingsburg’s Kenny Ortega intercepted a pass from Josiah Martinez. Ortega returned that interception 46 yards for the game’s first score.
On the ensuing drive the Monarchs once again were driving until Martinez threw his second interception of the quarter.
Kingsburg was able to capitalize on the turnover when Nathan Gamble threw a 40-yard touchdown to Caleb Buendia to make it 14-0.
“We could never recover form that,” said coach Lamb. “Anytime we did something good we found a way to shoot ourselves in the foot.”
Exeter’s offense was stagnate all night. Of the 61 plays the Monarchs ran they were only able to gain 114 total yards of offense. That compared to 374 yards of total offense gained by the Vikings.
Martinez had his worst outing of the year going 4-8 for 32 yards and three interceptions. Of his total yards 29 of them came on one play. Martinez was also sacked negative 28 rushing yards.
Exeter’s leading running back Isaiah Urban also had limited numbers going for 71 yards on 23 carries.
Penalty yards also hindered the Monarchs as they had six infractions for 35 yards.
Despite how bleak everything seemed in the game against Kingsburg coach Lamb understands that there is still a lot of the season left. The mission for the weeks to come is to get his team back to basics and winning the small battles within the game.
Hopefully the Monarchs will be ready for next Friday’s matchup against the Immanuel Eagles (3-2; 0-1) in Reedley. The Eagles are also coming off a loss following a 42-9 defeat to the Dinuba Emperors.