Jacks season opener called due to injury concerns
The Quincy High School football season opened with a loss as the Zillah Leopards defeated the Jacks 28-7 at Andy Collins Memorial Stadium in Zillah.
With the Leopards threatening to widen their lead about halfway through the fourth, the game was called after several players collided in the left corner of the end zone on a Zillah pass attempt, resulting in a lengthy injury timeout. Quincy junior defensive back Adrian Hernandez walked away from the collision and was tested for concussion, along with Zillah running back Wesley Avila.
Quincy junior defensive back Felipe Zepeda remained on the field, where he was tended to by medical staff. Zepeda laid on the turf for a little over a half-hour before the game announcer informed fans the game was over.
About an hour after the play occurred, Zepeda was taken off the field and into an ambulance. Quincy head coach Wade Petersen said Zepeda was feeling pain in his neck and back and medical staff was being cautious. Petersen also added Zepeda was able to move his hands without issue.
The game started slowly with both teams going three and out in their first possessions. Quincy called three run plays before punting, while Zillah called the opposite, three pass plays, also to no avail.
The Jacks’ following possession was not much better than the first. Set up for another punt, the snap went over the kicker’s head and in a scramble the kicker picked up the ball but was unable to reach the line. The Leopards took over on the Quincy 30 yard-line.
The Jacks defense stepped up to the task on the ensuing Zillah possession, sacking the Zillah quarterback before senior defensive lineman Cooper Rapp intercepted a pass. The Jacks would squander the following possession, punting after another three and out.
The home team put the first points on the board in the following possession, with a 30-yard touchdown pass with five and a half minutes left in the opening quarter.
After another Quincy punt on the following possession, the Jacks defense came up big again with a fumble recovery on the Zillah 33 yard-line. After going backwards a few yards, senior quarterback Israel Cavazos connected with senior wide receiver Isaiah Ayala for a 36-yard touchdown pass to even the score at the 2:53 mark of the first quarter.
The Jacks closed the opening quarter going for it on a fourth down at midfield. The visitors came up short and gave the ball to the Leopards before the home team would give the ball right back fumbling on the next play.
Zillah pulled ahead once more in the second period with a rushing touchdown by Avila with seven minutes remaining in the half. Quincy connected on a long pass on the next possession that was taken back by a penalty. The ensuing punt was blocked by the Leopards and recovered on the Quincy 40 yard-line.
The home team missed a field goal attempt to close the half, and the teams headed into the break with a 14-7 Zillah advantage.
The Leopards opened the second half with a big run down to the Quincy red zone, followed by another touchdown run by Avila with 9:37 left in the third quarter, bringing the score to 21-7.
Quincy forced yet another fumble on the next Zillah possession, but was unable to convert anything after recovering the ball at midfield. According to Petersen, the team focuses on forcing turnovers in practice.
“We just want to be really turnover prone and get the ball back to our offense,” said Petersen.
Zillah tacked on another score with a deep touchdown pass with three minutes remaining in the third, bringing the score to its final: 28-7.
After the loss, the Jacks look for their first win this week at home in their new stadium against Brewster on Sept. 13 at 7 p.m.
By Miles King, email@example.com