Matanzas fumbled on its first three drives of the game against the Buccaneers.
Before Matanzas took the field against Mainland on the night of Friday, Oct. 13, the Pirates were winners of their last four football games. However, when the fourth quarter clock expired, signaling the end of the game, Matanzas left the Daytona Beach Municipal Stadium with serious questions regarding its offensive line — and a loss.
Mainland (3-3, 2-0), which had lost three of its last four games prior to Friday night, routed the Pirates 24-3 thanks to big plays on both sides of the ball. Buccaneers quarterback Richard Kamara threw two touchdowns, and Mainland’s defense held visiting Matanzas to 32 yards of offense.
Facing a long third down on the first drive of the game, Kamara connected with receiver D'Marcus Adams for what would have been an 82-yard touchdown. Adams was whistled for a taunting penalty, and the score was wiped off the board. However, Matanzas (4-2, 2-1) botched a snap on the next drive, leading to a 14-yard touchdown by Mainland's Brian Jenkins at the 7:47 mark in the first quarter.
The Pirates lost fumbles on their first three drives of the game. Their lone points came off a field goal by Julian Del Castillo, who knocked a kick through the uprights from 32 yards out with 28 seconds left in the first half. The score cut Mainlands' lead to 24-3.
In addition, Matanzas quarterback Ryan Thomas was seemingly hit in the back field on almost every play throughout the night. Thomas had just 10 yards of offense in the first half and threw an interception late in the second half.
After the game, Pirates coach Robert Ripley said if the team — which faces Pine Ridge at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20 at Matanzas High School — is to improve, it will have to start with the offensive line.
"We have to do better up front," Ripley said. "[Mainland] just pinned their ears back and came right out here, so we have to do a better job being able to handle a blitz, have to do a better job of being able to count [and] understand where they're coming from. It's Week 6 or 7 or whatever; I don't know what the hurricane has done to us. We just have to be better. There are no excuses for us. Not being able to execute and get a first down and give our defense a chance. We can't turn the ball over three times in I don't know the first 10 snaps or whatever it was, so that's my fault... We need to be able to snap and do those things. So, unfortunately, we put our defense in a horrible position for the second week in a row."
You can check out photos of the game here.