It’s probably a good bet that Mesa will be working a lot on special teams this coming week in practice after some glaring mistakes were too much to overcome in the Jackrabbits’ season opener on Friday night.
Mesa had three miscues when attempting to punt the ball in a 32-6 loss at home to Mesquite.
“They tackled our punter twice, and our quarterback tried a quick punt and it was blocked,” Mesa coach Kap Sikahema said. “We never punted again. Our special teams put us in some tough spots that we couldn’t come back from.”
The Wildcats scored 32-unanswered points, but the Jackrabbits were only down 14-6 entering the fourth quarter.
“That’s my responsibility,” Sikahema said. “We had too many mistakes, and missed assignments. We’re in good spirits, though, and there are a lot of great things ahead of us.”
The Jackrabbits scored first when Nate Hanna connected with Kris Jackson on a pass with 2:18 left in the first quarter.
Sikahema was happy with the defense considering the short field the Wildcats had all game after the special teams miscues.
“They should have scored a lot more than they did,” the second-year coach said. “We have a few things to fix on our offense, but the scoreboard doesn’t show how well the defense played.”
Mesa will get back to work and be better prepared for its next game.
“Give them credit for taking advantage, but we basically handed them the game on a silver platter,” said Sikahema, who signaled out linebacker Osaiasi Taueli as one of the players of the game. “We held it together as a team, and I told them we will make the next team pay for our sins.”
– Jason P. Skoda is a senior writer for MyNewsMesa.com. Send Mesa-based story ideas to email@example.com.