Kian Gibson | Sports Section Editor
The Livermore High Cowboys started their 2017 season off on the right foot with a 14-7 win over visiting Kimball High School on Friday, Aug. 25. The Cowboys talented defense punched early with a great interception by star running back and safety Mekhi McElroy (#4). Then McElroy (#4) rushed the ball in for a 10-yard touchdown followed by a two-point conversion making the score 8-0 LHS in the first quarter.
The second quarter, and really the rest of the game, was a battle that was won in the trenches. Both teams have quality runners in their backfields and big bodies clearing the way for them, like Adam Lebish (#75), Jose Martinez (#55) and Bradley Archer (#87). McElroy (#4) dedicates his success to his o-linemen saying, “I impacted the game last week by running the ball as hard as I can, but I can’t do anything without my linemen. That was a big part of my game–I would not have any of those yards without my linemen.”
Late in the second quarter, Livermore threw a pass that got intercepted by Kimball on Kimball’s 21-yard line. A couple possessions later, Livermore got the ball back at their own 44-yard line. With a few minutes left in the second quarter and the ball on the opponent’s 26-yard line, quarterback John Hodgers (#1) lobbed a very nice pass into the endzone to wide receiver Anthony Hergert (#11), who leapt above the defender and came down with an amazing jump ball catch. When attempting the point after touchdown (P.A.T.), Kimball’s Marquise Cunningham (#52) broke through the line and blocked the kick.
The score at halftime was 14-0, Livermore’s lead. In the third quarter of play, both teams went back and forth with some nice passes and runs, but it was, overall, a defensive game. With six minutes left in the third quarter, Kimball received their first score of the game with a passing touchdown followed by the P.A.T., making the score 14-7, Cowboys’ lead and win.
With their first game also being their first win, the Cowboys have a record of 1-0, and are headed in the right direction under new Head Coach, Terry Butler, who was the team’s defensive coordinator last year. Butler’s defensive mind was demonstrated in how the defense played against Kimball.
Jose Martinez (#55) says that one of the keys to winning was “Our defense holding it together and stopping them almost every single time.”
Deandre Hawkins (#10) also says defense was a major part in the win over Kimball, as he stated, “This defense could possibly be top five in league.”
The team will be taking on Washington High School on Friday, Sep. 1 in their second game of the season. Going into this game, Washington has a record of 0-1 with a major 64-13 loss to Encinal High. McElroy’s (#4) goal for this week’s game against Washington “is not only to beat the team but to dominate the team. I want them to know that us beating them was nothing lucky.”