On Friday, Sept. 8, the Berkeley High School Yellowjackets faced De Anza High School in their first home game of the season, defeating them by a score of 41-14. The bleachers were packed with students dressed in all black to show their support for the team, and the crowd was rowdy.
After losing their first two games of the season, the Jackets were expected to be evenly matched, but they started off hot to begin the game. A 70 yard rushing touchdown by junior wide receiver BJ Thurman got the Jackets rolling within the first 30 seconds of the game. “We came out with a lot of energy,” said senior quarterback Deontae Faison. I think we’re happy to be home finally. And that really boosted us.”
Late in the second quarter, De Anza scored its second field goal, placing the score at 28-14 going into halftime.
The Jackets strengthened their defense in the second half, shutting De Anza out, and scoring another 13 points before the end of the game.
Junior William Graham said that the win felt like a relief, although, “(This game) proves we can win, but it also proves we still have a lot to grow,” he said.
Faison was proud of his team’s win. “I feel like we embraced each other’s game, and we came together and really fought hard for this one,” said Faison.
Head coach David Perry reflected on what this first win meant for his team. “We’d like to say you either win or you learn, and we have learned a lot about ourselves, about being humble, about playing tough, and just staying and sticking with it,” he said. “It was definitely kind of a weight off our shoulders.” He also praised the team’s offensive and defensive lines, and said that in future games he looks forward to building up their running game.
Thinking about the season ahead, Coach Perry has high expectations. “The seasons looking bright,” he said. “We expect to be in the playoffs and I think this is a stepping stone into the right direction.”