Photo credits to Bernice van der Meer
On Senior Night this past Friday, the Bears fell to the Los Gatos Wildcats in a heartbreaking loss, by a score of 31-14.
The night started with a ceremony for the senior players, senior kicker Dash Franklin commented saying his favorite part of his football experience was, “the bond between the seniors and the love the program has given me and my family.”
After the ceremony, the game kicked off with the Wildcats getting out to an early lead, scoring a 16 yard field goal with 3 minutes left in the first quarter.
Less than a minute into the second quarter, and the ball was back to the Wildcats following a failed fourth down conversion by the Bears. Los Gatos capitalized on the momentum by executing a fake punt that resulted in a 54 yard touchdown pass, putting the Wi
ldcats up by 10. However, senior quarterback Colton Assunto responded by bringing the Bears inside the Wildcat 20 yard line with 2 minutes left in the first half. The field position gave an opportunity for star senior running back Sherrod Smith to run in a five yard touchdown, a successful extra point by Franklin cut the deficit to just three points going into halftime.
The third quarter started with Wildcat possession, and with 10 minutes remaining in the quarter, the Wildcats scored their second touchdown with a 56 yard run, returning the Bears back to a 10 point deficit.
With a minute to go in the third quarter, an unfortunate holding penalty on the Bears brought back a 60 yard touchdown pass from Assunto to Smith. Following the penalty, a pass thrown by Assunto was intercepted by a Wildcat defender, putting them on their own 45 yard line to begin the fourth quarter.
Nevertheless, some superb defense by senior defensive end David Tangilanu and sophomore linebacker Devin Hyde gave the Bears another opportunity to score.
Following a few successful passes from Assunto, the Bears were in the red zone, and Assunto delivered a perfectly placed touchdown pass to junior tight end Alek Marshall, making the score 17-14 with 6 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
Unfortunately, the Bears could not hold on to the momentum, allowing the Wildcats to score on a 70 yard pass to a wide-open receiver. Senior kicker Arya Agah later said, “the most important thing for us to work on is our coverage and preventing explosive plays, a couple busted coverages let them score two touchdowns.”
After the Bears turned the ball over for the second time, the Wildcats solidified their win with a 36 yard touchdown pass.
Reflecting on the game, senior linebacker Diego Augustin said, “it is all about preparation, we just need to work hard at practice to give the team the best chance to succeed in the playoffs.”
This Friday night, the Bears will play the Bellarmine Bells at home to begin the CCS Division II playoffs.