The Shafter High Generals opened their season with a convincing win over the West High Vikings on Thursday night, 55-7.
The Shafter squad is still a young one, with the majority of the team being in their sophomore year, including quarterback Ezekiel Osborn. Osborn lit up the Vikings in the game for 7 touchdowns, three of them to Maryon Sloan. Sloan ended the game with five catches. Jesus Figueroa had an amazing game, gathering in six receptions for a total of 217 yards, including a 62 yard touchdown reception in the first quarter.
The Generals opened the game with a few miscues on offense, including three false start penalties in their second drive of the game.
But, the Vikings were unable to stop the arm of Osborn and the speed of Figueroa and Sloan. The score was 19-7 in the first quarter and by halftime the score was 41-7.
Osborn ended the game with 16-22 passing, with over 400 yards in the air and seven touchdowns.
The Shafter defense had one lapse on the night, but otherwise they stopped the Vikings at every turn. They even contributed to the scoring, with Sloan picking off a Viking pass and running the ball the other way for a 58 yard pick-six.
An efficient addition to the Generals offense is their speedy running back JJ Vasquez. Vasquez was not needed too much on the night, but was very efficient when called upon, gaining over 50 yards on seven carries, averaging over seven yards a carry.
The defending Central Section Division IV champions will have a target on their backs for everyone they face, but they showed on Thursday night that they welcome that challenge.
Coach Jerald Pierucci said that he was happy with the win, but did say that there is plenty that the team can improve on and small mistakes to correct upon.
The Generals will travel to Arvin on Friday night, facing their former SSL opponent the Bears. Arvin is coming off a 48-32 loss to Chavez.
Unless adjusted because of the heat, the games are scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. for the junior varsity and 7:30 p.m. for the varsity.