In the process, a handful of potentially game-changing plays
"You torture yourself with a lot of thoughts about a lot of
different things," Brinkley said.
Among those would be the events surrounding a key play early in
the fourth quarter, when the Sailors inadvertently snapped the ball
on fourth-and-inches from their own 15-yard line when they were
trying to draw the Mustangs offside with a hard count.
Brinkley said the reason for the miscue was that the signals being
called mistakenly included a word that triggers an audible. Brinkley
said a handful of players reacted as if the audible had been called,
when, in reality, it was simply a mistaken cadence. Among those who
reacted to the audible was the center, Brinkley said.
More key plays involved the kicking game, as the Sailors, playing
without starting kicker Travis Duffield, missed one conversion kick,
had another blocked, then missed a 24-yard field goal attempt that
would have tied it in overtime.
Brinkley said two kickers were used, but the backup that received
the work on PATs in practice was not the one who attempted the
overtime field goal.
"I told the kids afterward in the locker room that [the missed
field goal] was my fault, because I didn't give [the overtime kicker]
any work in practice," Brinkley said.
Regardless of the circumstances, the Sailors are dealing with
their second straight loss. It is the first time since 1995 they have
dropped two straight preleague games.
There were, however, several positives that came out of a
near-upset of Mira Costa (5-0), ranked No. 4 in CIF Southern Section
The most obvious was the return of senior tailback Ryan Rippon,
who lifted the Sailor rooters and, arguably, the entire program, when
he bolted up the middle and bounced outside for a 50-yard run on his
second carry Friday.
Rippon, back from reconstructive knee surgery, finished with 102
yards on 19 carries and also caught two passes for 25 yards.
Another bright spot was the touchdown drive in the closing minutes
of regulation to force overtime.
Still another was that the Sailors not only gained more rushing