The Inglewood High football team stood on the Beverly Hills field Saturday afternoon and stared at the scoreboard with disbelief. It showed that the Normans had won, 31-14, in the nonleague game. But the Sentinels did not feel 17 points worse.
Though the score might not have reflected the relative ability of the teams, it did show how mistakes can lose a game.
Inglewood (1-1) had five turnovers, one touchdown called back, and was penalized seven times for 85 yards, all but two of the infractions negating a gain.
"I think we had some breakdowns, and that pass really hurt us," said Inglewood Coach Angelo Jackson.
The pass in question came near the end of the second quarter, with Beverly Hills (1-1) leading, 10-6. It was preceded by an Inglewood turnover when Sentinel running back Gary Clemons fumbled at his 26 with 1:29 left in the half.
Beverly Hills moved the ball down to the two-yard line and, on third and goal, quarterback Chris Wallace hit tight end Jeff Greenberg in the right corner of the end zone.
That made the score 17-6 at halftime, a deficit from which the Sentinels would not recover. Wallace finished with eight completions on 14 attempts for 177 yards and four touchdowns.
Inglewood quarterback York Frierson played both ways and on special teams. His statistics weren't impressive (five for 15, 18 yards, one touchdown, three interceptions) but his overall play certainly was.
"Frierson played a great game. It's difficult when you go both ways. He played his heart out," Jackson said.
After Beverly Hills took a 3-0 lead, Frierson took the ensuing kickoff and darted 80 yards for a touchdown, giving Inglewood a brief 6-3 advantage.
Frierson credited his teammates. "I saw they were taking the middle, so we moved the wedge and I just split the blockers," Frierson said.
"We should have taken over the game right there."
Instead, two minutes later, Wallace connected with Taylor Humphries for a 58-yard touchdown, his first of three. Humphries lost his right shoe on the touchdown, but not his feet.
The Inglewood defense sacked Wallace four times, including two by Deondre Johnson, but pressure on the offense was inconsistent.
"We're not going to panic. We're a young team and we didn't play well, but we can play solid enough to win," Jackson said.
Inglewood's only offensive touchdown came with 16 seconds remaining in the game when Frierson hit Sherwin Haywood for six yards, capping an 80-yard drive.
Inglewood plays host to West Torrance next Friday night.