Two running backs down, the Mission Prep football team turned to a couple of unproven formations and eventually to a two-way 230-pound lineman to move the ball Friday.
And Brady Lock had to be thankful for a two-quarterback system that usually gets a bad rap in the rest of the football world.
Senior running back Jesse Andreini left with a concussion after scoring a 69-yard touchdown on a swing pass early in the second quarter, sophomore lineman Andrew DaRosa unleashed a 70-yard run on his first career carry, and in the season opener for both teams, the Royals topped visiting Coast Union 39-0 behind the run-pass threat of quarterbacks Jedd Hasay and Tyler Baty.
“They both bring different skills to the table,” Mission Prep coach Lock said about his two quarterbacks, “and if the situation is someone’s not throwing well one night, it can’t hurt to have two quarterbacks.
“We’re not really deep. We don’t have a big depth chart here. So, two is good for us.”
With Andreini relegated to the sidelines and his backup, sophomore Mike Cardwell already missing the game with an illness, a roster of just 27 players was down to few options.
The Royals went to a no-back formation.
“When we have Jesse in the spread, we just run the option and it works really good,” Hasay said. “Since we lost Jesse, we just got down to our jet formation.”
Hasay, who started the game at quarterback and also saw time at receiver, took the reigns of the running game.
Adding to a 39-yard touchdown run he had on the game’s first drive, the senior finished with 73 rushing yards and two touchdowns and converted Mission Prep’s only two-point conversion.
He also had a 40-yard run called back on a penalty.
Baty, a sophomore, thrilled in the passing game, completing 8 of 11 passes for 172 yards and three touchdowns, which included a 24-yarder to Joey Hall and a 10-yard strike to Spencer Rowley.
“Jedd’s so fast and he runs the ball so well, he’s a huge asset there,” Lock said, “but we get him the ball when he’s not at quarterback, too, and Tyler, we thought he played pretty mature for a 10th-grader tonight.”
With the game well in hand, Mission Prep went to the back page of the playbook for a triple-option formation to drain the clock late in the third quarter. Since both wingbacks were out, the first handoff was a dive to DaRosa, who ripped through a cluster of players at the line of scrimmage at the 30-yard line and sped away for a touchdown.
“He’s big,” Lock said. “He looks like a lineman. He’s kind of square, but he can run. I had him in track last spring, and he can flat out move.
“We’re going, ‘Look, give us 4 yards. That’s all we’re looking for,’ but I’m glad that when he did get out there, people could see, he’s one of our fastest kids.”
Coast Union, who dressed only 16 players, had just four first downs and completed just two of 12 pass attempts. The Broncos were led by running back Zach Brooke, who had 46 yards on 17 carries.
Coast Union defensive back Diego Pena did come up with a diving interception of Hasay in the first quarter on a ball that went in and out of the hands of Royals receiver Trevor Fernandez.
Hasay came away upset at his own hands, too, after bobbling and dropping a sure interception while he was on defense.
The Royals were dinged 70 yards on eight penalties, and with Andreini out for next week’s game at Mammoth per CIF concussion rules, the shutout didn’t conceal the areas of concern.
“We had too many penalties,” Hasay said. “I feel like we just have to catch the ball. We have a lot to improve on, but I think we’re going to be able to do that.”