Tempers Flare in 42-35 COS Defeat To Reedley


Spencer Beair

Head Coach Burkett Motivates His Team

On Saturday, November 6, the COS Giants played a home game against the Reedley College Tigers, where they lost in a heartbreaking game decided by one touchdown.

From the very start of this game, or at least within the first 3 minutes, Reedley had already broken through the COS defensive line to complete a 90-yard pass down the field for a touchdown. This was the start of what would soon become an offensive shootout between the two teams. By half time, the score was tied up at 28-28.

Also by halftime, the Giants had more to worry about than just Football. During a rushing play that resulted in minimal yardage at the end of the second quarter, a few players got into a heated exchange on the field, leading to players on both teams having to be ejected from the game.

The total number of ejected players, and the cause for the exchange, are not known at this time. However, both teams had at least one player ejected. Head Coach Travis Burkett during the after-game interview clearly pointed out that it was a lapse in team judgment that led to this situation.

“We talked about what our keys to the game are, which are respect, trust, and love, and that didn’t just didn’t show up today.” (Travis Burkett)

Burkett also made it very obvious that he doesn’t blame the players, his coaching staff, or anyone in between, but that it is a head coaching error that will be fixed with finding players who care about football, point, and blank.

“No disrespect to Reedley, but when you lose a game like that, it comes down to the Head Coach … I just think that we have to do some hard work and continue with guys that love football. When the lights come on, you don’t ever rise to the occasion, you sink to the level of your training.” (Travis Burkett)

When the players left to their respective off-field locations during halftime, each of the school’s athletics directors directed their own teams to where they needed to go. Brent Davis, the Giant’s AD, went over to the COS team as they were walking towards their locker rooms and made them wait until Reedley had completely cleared off of the field.

As the teams had re-entered the game, they were directed onto the field one after another to prevent any other conflicts from being started as players were seeing each other again.

After half-time, the game resumed as normal with no more fights happening, likely due to the efforts of the Coach’s, player leaders, and the athletics directors.

Nathan Lamb, who serves as the on-field leader for the Giants while he is slotted at quarterback, explained how he takes control of a situation like this when he is in the game.

“I just tell them hey keep it cool, we’re okay, we don’t need to be doing any of that stuff, we can’t be making mental mistakes as that leads to flags and penalties; I just tell them to calm down, and let the other guys do the talking” (Nathan Lamb)

Nate and the rest of his offense had a rough go at it today in the second half, being outscored by the Reedley offense 14 – 7. Last Thursday, Coach Burkett explained in our weekly coach’s corner that receivers need to catch the ball to capitalize on potential third-down conversions.

Against Reedley, this was still an issue, with the Giants being 5 -11 total on those possible first down chances. As well as this, they only averaged 2.0 yards on 27 total carries on rushing plays, which is clearly not a very good stat line to see after the game.

“We’re struggling with our depth up front, with just our overall health, and we’re struggling at creating rush yards.” (Travis Burkett)

Even though they struggled to generate rushing yards, and were shut down for the most part on the run game, they still created 342 total offensive yards. 289 of these yards came from Nathan Lamb, who also surrendered only 1 interception on 2 touchdowns.

An interception is usually nothing to celebrate, but in the case of Nathan Lamb, only giving up 1 interception is something that may be indicative of his improvement over the course of this season.
“I think it just came down to making better decisions, studying film and seeing what position they are gonna be in and what they are gonna do before it happens, and just giving my receivers better balls to catch.”

In the end, COS was unable to bounce back in the second half after emotions got the better of key players on the Giants roster, and they fell 42-35.

On November 13, the COS Giants will be playing an away game against Modesto, which would have been the final game of their regular season had it not been for a postponed game against Shasta that was re-allocated to November 20 due to fires on the campus.

Modesto will be the final in-conference game and will determine just how good the Giants can be at beating teams with winning records.

If you are looking for more on what Head Coach Travis Burkett has to say on the state of his team and this program, make sure to tune in to the Giants Talk Coach’s Corner posted weekly on the COS Campus Journal.

Visalia, CA | Giant Stadium
Attendance: 550
Box Score by Joe Kersten