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Pittsburg starts hot, crushes rival Liberty




PITTSBURG Pittsburg caught Liberty flat-footed in their first action from scrimmage and never allowed the Lions to recover in a running-clock victory, the Pirates third in a row in this rivalry.

Senior quarterback Eli Brickhandler later advanced to senior receiver Matthew Quesada, who threw the ball to the field to a wide-open Quatama Massaquoi, another fourth-year receiver who trudged over the goal line with ease.

“The first time we came up with a game, we call it ‘Sugar,'” Brickhandler said after the 55-7 win that improved Pittsburg’s record to 3-0. That started us morally. It picked us up from the start. ”

PITTSBURG, CA – APRIL 2: Pittsburg High’s Quatama Massaquoi (8), left, celebrates with teammates Eli Brickhandler (3) and Daytuawn Pearson (10) after Massaquoi scored a touchdown in the first quarter of their football game against Liberty High in Pittsburg, California, on Friday, April 2, 2021. (Doug Duran / Bay Area News Group)

It was so easy, Pittsburg would do it six more times just before halftime.

Brickhandler put a bow tie on the blowout in the second quarter as he slowly ran the last five yards of a 24-yard touchdown scramble that extended Pittsburgs 28-0.

His teammates followed their senior quarterbacks’ lead by enjoying Liberty’s defeat.

Junior Nathaniel Cordova withdrew over the goal line at the end of a 72-yard punt return for a touchdown that led the Pittsburgs 35-0. And it was senior running back Keionte Guess who was flagged down for outrageous party after Brickhandler scrambled into the end zone to make it 49-0 with seconds to go in the first half.

“That’s always fun, always fun,” said Pittsburg coach Vic Galli, whose only complaint about the effort was the penalty kicks. “In recent years we have fought some wars with these guys. … You get the pad, then you feel more comfortable mentioning the violation. It’s nice if you’re not tight. ”

Before Liberty could blink, the Lions were in a 21-0 hole.

While Liberty’s attack struggled to bring the first downs together, Pittsburg had scored three touchdowns by the time it played four offensive plays. With 241 yards to the ground and 229 yards to the air, the Pirates executed at will with a balanced offensive attack.

Galli said the trick play was the first time the Pirates had tried it live after running it in practice and discovering Quesada’s hidden arm talent.

“We said if we were in a good spot, we would do it early,” Galli said. “Believe it or not, if we do it in practice, Matt is pretty good at throwing the ball.”

Senior running back Daytuawn Pearson took the second hand of Pittsburg’s second possession, surpassing Liberty’s defenders 72 yards in the end zone to make it 14-0 for his first of two scores. Then, with sophomore Jaden Rashada as quarterback, Cordova got well behind the last layer of the Liberty defense, where Rashada contacted him for another quick attack.

PITTSBURG, CA – APRIL 2: Pittsburg High’s Matthew Quesada, 11, breaks a tackle while running remotely on a kick return in the first quarter of their soccer game against Liberty High in Pittsburg, California, on Friday, April 2, 2021. (Doug Duran / Bay Area News Group)

At half time the score was 49-0.

With a running clock for the entire second half, each team could get into the end zone again – or in the case of Liberty just once.

Pearson took another long touchdown run from 58 yards to make it 55-0 in the third quarter. He was 190 meters in total while touching the ball seven times.

Brickhandler completed 11 of 18 pass attempts for 97 yards and added 41 yards to four carries, while Rashada threw for 65 yards on 4-of-7 passing with a touchdown and an interception.

With a few taps left in the fourth quarter, Liberty found quarterback Nate Bell junior receiver Anthony Munoz for the Lions’ first and only score of the game.

PITTSBURG, CA – APRIL 2: Liberty High quarterback Nate Bell (7) searches for an open receiver as bing is tackled by Damian Buenaventura (43) of Pittsburg High in the first quarter of their Pittsburg, California football game, on Friday, April 2, 2021. (Doug Duran / Bay Area News Group)

The game was a match-up of two undefeated teams that were in the top 15 of the Bay Area News Group’s Top 25. Although Pittsburg had made it to the past 14 of the past 15 meetings starting Friday night, the victories were close recently and Liberty had won three. seasons ago. Friday’s showdown was heralded as a match between two of the best teams in the East Bay.

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