By: Luke Tunnell
After the excitement of Class Competition Day, the Charger community came together for the last Homecoming Week event: the Homecoming football game. After coming off a nearly undefeated season, the Chargers would face one final opponent before advancing to the playoffs: Academy at the Lakes. The Charger football team was already highly regarded going into this match, but their efforts arguably exceeded every single fan’s expectations. Just on the first play of the game, Shorecrest ran the opening play for an 80 yard touchdown with Théo Simon at running back. Truly exemplifying their monstrous run game, Simon’s first touchdown would ultimately set the game’s pace and hinted at what would come in the future; for him, this would be an additional two recorded sacks.
Defensively, the Chargers improved in every aspect compared to last year, highlighting the coaching staff’s substantial impact on the team. Shorecrest collected a combined four interceptions in the win, making it difficult for our own offense to score, as they had few opportunities to touch the field. Simon credited the defense, saying “We were doing great as a defense, so we didn’t get a lot of offensive opportunities.” This might seem problematic, but on the contrary, it only displays the Chargers’ unmitigated defense that night.
However, this did not stop our Chargers from earning points or yards. With the team scoring 61 points in their acclaimed victory, multiple players really stepped up statistically. This included Auston Shore, who gained 175 yards of offense as a receiver, along with two touchdowns.
Team Captain, Jack Zikmund, credited the fans who packed the stands, saying “The team feeds off the energy. The team just gets a lot more fired up; we’ve got bigger hits; we’ve got [Ben] Worman running through people, everyone just feeds off it, so it’s a big factor for us.”
Shorecrest was so dominant on both sides of the ball that the officials had to implement a running clock to let the game end faster, meaning the clock never stopped for timeouts, first downs, or running out of bounds.
Playing our second year in the 8 on 8 league, with eight men on the field, the offensive line is condensed to three players, which completely shifts how a team runs the ball. Additionally, because there is a smaller line, pass plays and offense in general are faster than typical 11 on 11 football. With fewer offensive linemen, the quarterback will see pressure throughout the game, requiring him to throw the ball more quickly. This did not seem to stop Drew Bunn, who recorded an average of 40+ points per game this year.
Firing on all cylinders, the Chargers could not be contained. This was no surprise, as the Chargers have acquired similar wins in the past with scores including 48-2 and 60-0. With a state title contending football team, you should only expect a team as relentless and absolute as Shorecrest. Regardless, the Homecoming game ended with the final score of 61-7, leading the Chargers with nothing but momentum into the first playoff game of the season against Ocala Christian, which they won 40-32.
We can all agree this season was one for the books. Everyone will remember the Charger football team of 2021. So, as Nathan Barry, the Shorecrest Broadcasting Club Co-president, says after every game… Go Chargers!