Albany High fans didn't have a lot to cheer about in the varsity team's 43-0 loss to St. Patrick-St. Vincent High Friday night, but the junior varsity game gladdened hometown hearts with a 21-0 Cougar victory.
The varsity game didn't look promising for the Cougars in the first quarter Friday night when a pass from the Albany High quarterback was intercepted by a player from St. Patrick-St. Vincent High for a 60-yard touchdown run.
The visiting Bruins from Vallejo added 37 more points to the scoreboard before the final whistle, shutting out the Cougars 43-0.
But Albany fans still had something to cheer about. The junior varsity game saw the Cougars under coach Donnell Carson maul the Bruins 21-0, bringing the JV record for the season to 1-1 after last week's narrow 8-7 loss to Mt. Eden.
For the varsity, Friday night's defeat follow's last week's 26-6 loss to Mt. Eden, for a 0-2 season record so far.
The Cougars' new head coach Steve Werren told Patch that several mistakes played a role in the loss. "Little things like that add up," he said.
And, he added, the team was hampered by the loss of running back Tristan Taylor – "probably our fastest back" – because of shoulder surgery and the loss of the biggest lineman, Skyler Forrest, because of an ankle fractured playing basketball, Werren said.
"Losing those two guys was a big disappointment," said Werren, who coached at El Cerrito High for 30 years.
But at the same, Werren said he thinks the team can learn from the mistakes it made: "It's all correctable."
And, he said, he's encouraged by the team's demonstrated ability to improve shown this past summer, when the Cougars won the last of three passing tournaments, defeating strong teams from Antioch, Encinal and Pinole, he said.
"Hopefully we'll continue to improve," he said.
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