Acclimated to the artificial turf fields in the Bay Area, the Berean Christian High football team stumbled and fumbled on St. Bernard's natural grass field, resulting in a 23-0 loss to the Crusaders in the opening round of the North Coast Section Division V playoffs on Saturday.
Both the No. 5 Eagles and the No. 4 Crusaders had trouble with the 12th man -- the field.
Berean Christian senior quarterback Garrett Anderson -- hobbled by an ankle injury he suffered in the first quarter after intercepting a pass -- slipped and tripped time and again. To make matters worse, his offensive line couldn't hold its ground due to the slop.
Leading 6-0, the Crusaders' offense hit paydirt on a run play in the third quarter and, 16 seconds later, the defense forced Anderson to intentionally ground the ball for a safety.
Fullback Logan Bongio sealed the game with a 47-yard breakaway run, which saw the senior carry three defenders with him into the end zone, early in the fourth quarter.
Several near-rumbles broke out intermittently throughout the contest -- more so in the second half -- as personal fouls and unsportsman-like infractions hindered Berean's ability to create any sense of consistency. Eagles senior Conner Cabral was ejected from the contest in the fourth quarter.