The words "be not afraid" top the arch over which John Paul II Centurion players run through at the beginning of each game.
The Centurions showed on Friday though that it takes more than courage, which they had, in order to win a game.
A young team, the Centurions lost to the Taft Greyhounds at home, 48-0.
Despite a scoreless effort, the team proved at times to be relentless in their defensive skill, holding Taft to no touchdowns in the second quarter, which is something they can grow on during the course of this rebuilding year.
It was a rough start in the first quarter, as the Centurions struggle to get passed their own 35 yard line while they had ball possession. Three times they tried and three times forward movement was stopped by an experienced Greyhound defense. Their offense put in the effort that first quarter as well, with Taft's Juan Cantu making the touchdown first on a short 5 yard run, followed by a 10 yard pass caught by Thomas Martinez five minutes later.
With seconds left, David Sturgeon made a 10-yard touchdown run to put Taft up 21-0 for the first quarter.
Both sides were scoreless in the second quarter, as the Centurions' defense came to life and put a stop to two key Greyhound drives late in the quarter.
Taft had major drives throughout the third quarter, adding 20 unanswered points to move to a large 41-0 lead. Taft's Richard Nanez ended his big night with a touchdown catch in the last 10 minutes of the game, which the Centurions held till the end of the game, at 48-0
John Paul II Head Coach Mario Vasquez said mistakes at key moments of the game cost the Centurions against Taft.
"When you run a ground game for three or four downs, and then sustain a penalty, it throws your game off," Vasquez said. "Your forced to do something which you really don't want to do, which is pass. And they are waiting for you to pass."
Vasquez said by introducing the shotgun at the end of the game, it helped to give the young line time to set up their blocks. He said moving forward the team will be working on refining their passing game before their match up with Banquete on Friday.
The Banquete Bulldogs faced a familiar fate in their opener, falling to Mathis 43-7. Neither team got off to the start they wanted, which will likely make Friday night a hard-fought game.
No team wants to start out 0-2, and these 2012 playoff teams certainly do not expect to begin the season with two losses. Both offenses will look to improve, as the two combined for just seven points.