This article was originally published via the Dublin Shield

On Saturday, March 27th, the Gaels played their 3rd game of the season on the road against the Foothill Falcons. Entering the game, the JV team was looking to get their first win of this young season while the Varsity team was looking to catch their second “W” in a row after a strong outing against Granda last week winning the game 28 – 7. 

The Gaels faced difficult competition from the Falcons who also came off a strong outing against Dougherty Valley winning 38 – 7. The Varsity matchup was billed ahead of time as an offensive showdown, and that proved to be the case as Foothill edged by Dublin 36-35.

Gaels Headcoach Brandon Black often focuses on handing the ball off to star running backs Jayden Petrus and TJ Costello but is not afraid to throw it down the field with quarterback Anthony Armendaris in close shootouts. This week’s game was such a shoot-out, with the final score 36-35. Quarterback Anthony Armendaris threw 2 touchdowns tonight slicing the Falcons defense. 

The Falcons ran a similar offense to the Gaels coming into the night. The Falcons ran the ball 55 times vs throwing the ball 33 times this season — according to MaxPreps, a platform used by athletic programs during the year. 

The Gaels led 35 – 28 in the final moments but a critical drive by the Falcons down the field allowed the Falcons to score. Foothill was aided in the second half by several drive-sustaining penalties called after what appeared to be defensive stops by Dublin. With a 2 pt conversion following a touchdown in the final minutes, Foothill as able to take the lead and ultimately win the game. 

Last week against Granda the Gaels had more of a defensive performance allowing the Matadors only 7 points. This week, the opposition fared better against the defense with the Falcons earning 36 points. The defense did hold strong in important moments intercepting 1 pass, and making multiple 4th down stops during critical times. 

One thing Coach Black was looking to improve heading into the contest was Special Teams. Early on in the game, the Gaels were able to block a Falcons punt after a mistimed snap by the Falcons setting up the Gaels in great field position for a score – a critical momentum booster for the Gaels. 

Early on, the Gaels got off to a slow start and were down 14 – 0 but they played well in the 2nd quarter and managed to tie the game by halftime, coming out roaring in the 3rd quarter. 

The JV team started a little slow as well, down 28 – 0 but they were able to score a defensive touchdown in the late 3rd quarter to make the final score 35 – 8 in a hardfought loss. 

Dublin’s JV Head Coach Nakisha Harris noted afterward that football is new for a lot of the JV players, but said “We are getting closer to putting together a full game of football.” Overall the Varsity team fell to 1-2 and the JV team remains winless., 

The Gaels are poised to take on Livermore at home — 4 pm for JV and 7 pm for Varsity this upcoming Saturday, April 3rd. More details to follow on ticket availability, and the game will be live-streamed on GaelsTV.