By SHEL SEGAL
As the offense sputtered and the defense gave up seven touchdowns, Keppel football coach John Tuttle knew he had point to something the Aztecs could possible build upon.
And, sure enough he found it: "I don't think we quit," Tuttle said at the conclusion of Keppel's 49-0 nonleague loss on Friday night to host Gabrielino.
He added he has a better idea of what needs to be done during the days leading up to these games.
"Hopefully, we can get them better prepared for games," Tuttle said. "We need to be better mentally prepared for games."
Running back Jevon Fan, a senior who carried the ball 17 times, said both the defense and offense need to start improving if the Aztecs are going to try and win some games this year.
"Stopping the points, it's just our defense needing to be picking it up," Fan said. "Our corners need to pick it up. (Other offenses) are throwing deep balls and are making big plays in front of us.
Offense, I think if our line gets into the right spots we could run the ball."
And can successive games like this one be demoralizing for players? Fan said yes and no.
"It's tough, but we can also be getting better. We got to keep fighting," he said.
Gabrielino coach Harold Sanin said he understands the growing pains that Keppel is going through, adding there is a plan in place to make the Aztec successful once again.
"They're learning they're going to go out, work hard and things are going to get better," he said. "They're good, hard-working kids. You could tell they made some improvements from the week before. They've got a really good coach. I think he's going to turn things around there. (The players) got to believe in him and it will turn around over there."
For Gabrielino, quarterback Harrison Sanin threw for three touchdown passes of 37, 22 and 5 yards in the first half. Harrison Sanin also rushed for a 2-yard score just before halftime that gave the Eagles a 35-0 lead.
As running back Justin Minor got the scoring underway with a 31-yard TD run with four minutes left in the first quarter to put Gabrielino on top 7-0, Brandon Hudson sealed the win with a 2-yard score with 7:23 left in the game and a running clock ticking down.