Branden Gilyard had a 64-yard kickoff return in the loss.
After a come-from-behind win against Nease in their last outing, the Matanzas Pirates football team had no answer for New Smyrna Beach on the road.
The Pirates' young defense, comprised mostly of sophomores, was no match for the Barracudas' senior two-way player Einaj Carter. Carter torched the Pirates to the tune of 3 touchdowns in the Barracudas' 28-0 win over Matanzas (2-4, 1-1) on the night of Friday, Oct. 5, at New Smyrna Beach High School.
It was the result of the same struggles that have plagued the young team this whole season, according to the Pirates' first-year head coach Don Mathews.
"They just wanted it more than we did. They just pretty much out-played us in just about every facet of the game," Mathews said. "We've just got to figure out a way to coach better, and I've got to figure out a way to relay the message to them better. And they've got to figure out how to play better and play harder."
In addition, Mathews said he expected the team to struggle at times this season due to their youth.
"I didn't know it would be quite this hard to endure," he said. "Sometimes we've looked really good. Other times we've looked really bad. That's what you get when sophomores go up against juniors and seniors."
However, the Pirates did manage to squeak out a few highlights against the Barracudas: Senior Branden Gilyard had a 64-yard kickoff return that put the ball on New Smyrna Beach's 45, and Darrion Sessions had a 23-yard run that gave the Pirates a chance to score on 1st-and-goal in the first half.
"It's just a matter of learning how to compete," Mathews said.