On Friday, Oct. 6, the Berkeley High School football team took on Encinal High School for their first West Alameda County Conference League game, winning by a score of 55-6. Wide receiver Jalen Harris led with three touchdowns, and quarterbacks Deontae Faison and Drew Henderson threw a combined total of eight completed passes, six of which resulted in touchdowns.
BHS drove their score up early in the first quarter with a 35-yard touchdown play. Eli Moulton started the play, hiking the ball to quarterback Henderson who backed up to the BHS 35-yard line and passed the ball up to Harris, who took the ball and scored.
The first quarter ended with BHS leading 21-0, and at halftime, BHS led by a score of 41-6. At the same time however, BHS earned multiple penalties. “We weren’t locked in fully, there’s a lot of stuff we need to work on,” Harris said about the frequent penalties.
In the second half, BHS was able to clean up their penalties. “We went into the (second) half thinking ‘it’s 0-0’, a fresh mentality. We just wanted to come out with the same intensity we had in the first half,” Harris said.
Last year, BHS won the league undefeated. According to Jamari Widemon, a BHS defensive end, some of the pressure to win this league came from their success last year. Widemon said this is the “first game of league and we’re trying to go undefeated and repeat as champs.”
One of the clear stars of this game was senior Jalen Harris, who scored three touchdowns. Harris recently returned to the team for the first time since his junior year after recovering from an injury. Harris discussed how his absence had served as motivation for him in this game, saying, “It was my first game back after getting surgery, so I knew I had to score the ball. I mentioned it before the game, every time I get a touch, I’m going to score.”
The rest of the team acknowledged him for this as well, with Faison mentioning how valuable he was to the team this game. “Seeing number one, Jalen, come back and get three touchdowns… he really worked hard for that,” said Faison.
The score stayed steady throughout most of the third quarter, entering the fourth quarter with a score of 48-6. In the last quarter, BHS ended the game with a resounding 55-6 win.
The game set a hopeful tone for the rest of the season.“We always want to start off really well and have a positive win, a good team win, a lot of guys got to score and have fun,” said David Perry, BHS’s head coach.
Perry expects the team to have many games similar to this one as the season progresses and the team improves. “They are learning to have the ability to score whenever we touch the ball so you are going to be seeing a lot of high-scoring games,” Perry said.