Mats Finish Off Disappointing Season

Jeremy Unger

Even with a change in the offensive scheme and several big playmakers, the Mats football team is having one of the worst seasons in recent memory. The Mats are 3-5 this year and have only won one game in nearly two months.

After the Mats lost three games in a row in early October, coach John Wade refocused the offense, putting an emphasis on the running game in order to better utilize running backs Kevin Paulsen ‘10, and John Coupin ‘11, and quarterback Ross Anderson ‘12.

“The three of them are all a real core part of our team and they’ve helped us out of a lot of tight spots,” said defensive lineman Aaron Whitelock ‘10.

The Mats seemed to be turning things around with the new offensive scheme, defeating archrival Campolindo in a convincing 30-7 victory on the road. “We wanted to get the ball in our older guys’ hands,” said Wade to the Contra Costa Times. “So the guys we had touching the ball on every play were our three playmakers. [Campolindo] had trouble stopping it so we went with it.”

After the victory over the Cougars, the Mats were poised for a turn around, but since the Campolindo game the Mats have struggled, falling to Acalanes at the Homecoming game 14-7 in a last second loss and to Las Lomas 35-21 the following week. The Mats continued to rely on the run throughout these games, with Anderson rushing for a combined 235 yards against the Dons and Knights and Paulsen rushing for 64 yards, but against teams like Acalanes and Las Lomas the Mats had difficulty adapting.

In this new offense, the Mats haven’t used all-league wide receiver James King ‘10 as much, but he is still making a huge contribution to the team.

“When you have a guy like James out there, he attracts a lot of attention from opposing teams and that allows for other people to get open for big plays,” said Coupin.
King currently leads the Mats with 687 receiving yards this year and looks to be on his way to yet another all league performance.

But the bright spots can’t outweigh the fact that the Mats are in the middle of their worst season since 2004, when the Mats finished the season 3-7.

Although the Mats currently have a losing record, they could still make NCS this year and end the season on a high note if they have convincing wins in their final two games this season. The Mats face DFAL opponents Dougherty Valley this Friday and the first place Alhambra Bulldogs on Nov. 13.