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Varsity football season record at 6-0 after San Mateo victory

Varsity defeated the San Mateo Bearcats 21-14 on Oct. 6.

Demarii+Blanks%2C+a+senior%2C+scores+the+final+touchdown+of+the+night+in+the+last+two+minutes+of+the+game+and+secures+Carlmont%27s+win.
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Varsity football season record at 6-0 after San Mateo victory

Demarii Blanks, a senior, scores the final touchdown of the night in the last two minutes of the game and secures Carlmont's win.

Demarii Blanks, a senior, scores the final touchdown of the night in the last two minutes of the game and secures Carlmont's win.

Izzy Mitchell

Demarii Blanks, a senior, scores the final touchdown of the night in the last two minutes of the game and secures Carlmont's win.

Izzy Mitchell

Izzy Mitchell

Demarii Blanks, a senior, scores the final touchdown of the night in the last two minutes of the game and secures Carlmont's win.

Izzy Mitchell, Staff Writer

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A team name once murmured in the hallways as a joke is now the spark for chatter and excitement all across the Carlmont campus.

Two years ago, to hear that Carlmont had a chance at making the Pacific Athletic League (PAL)  Championships would be a mistake.

Now, it’s a reality. 2017 marks the year of passion and dedication for the football team.

On Oct. 6, Carlmont defeated the San Mateo Bearcats 21-14, which brought their season record to 6-0, a record never before reached by Carlmont varsity football teams. The team also has the first chance to reach  PAL championships since 1991.

“I’ve coached at schools with hundred-year football traditions. I’ve coached at Merced High School, who won seven section titles and all sorts of incredible things. It is special to do it here because we have not done it. And now we are doing it. It’s easy to do when it has been done before,” said Carlmont head coach Jake Messina.

Both teams understood the importance of this game for PAL qualifications and much of the game was back and forth.

“We knew this was the big game. These guys have won our league for the past few years. They beat up on us for many years, and last year pretty bad. We needed to get back on them for that,” said Shawn Azzopardi, a senior.

While Carlmont focused on rushing the ball, San Mateo focused on long passes.

In the first half of the game, the Scots struggled to get past the many flags and penalties against them.

Messina said, “They were just penalizing the death out of us. To overcome that many flags, some warranted and some not, that shows a lot of results. Not every game is going to be that way. Down the road, I think we can look back at this and say ‘We turned the corner.’”

Jake Jeffries, a San Mateo senior,  completed a 29-yard pass from Jose Ontiveros, another senior, for a touchdown at the end of the first quarter. The Bearcats led the game 7-0, but not for long.

Interceptions were seen on both ends of the field. Not one ball was safe from the opposing player blocking the pass. Azzopardi intercepted many passes throughout the game.

Not too long after, Demarii Blanks, a senior, scored the first touchdown for the Scots, tying the first half 7-7.

With four minutes left in the third quarter, Blanks scored another 45-yard rushing touchdown. The Scots led the scoreboard 14-7.

San Mateo responded with a strong offensive line in the fourth quarter. Ontiveros started with a long pass to Kevin Grant, a senior, to bring a first down on Carlmont’s 33-yard line. Jeffries then scored a receiving touchdown from Ontiveros’ 13-yard pass, tying the game at 14-14.

It is special to do it here because we have not done it. And now we are doing it. It’s easy to do when it has been done before.”

— Jake Messina

via GIPHY

With 2 minutes left in the game, the Scots were in the Bearcat’s red zone after a long run from Blanks. After many downs, Blanks broke through the defensive line and scored a rushing touchdown. The Scots were up 21-14.

“I knew I just had to do what I could to keep our drive alive because every play counted and we couldn’t afford a loss of a down,” said Blanks.

With less than 40 seconds left in the game, Grant ran into Carlmont’s end zone with Ralphie Holmes, a junior, on his tail. A long pass by Ontiveros reached the two boys and the Carlmont sideline went silent.

Grant had fumbled, Holmes had punched the ball out of Grant’s hands and it was then recovered by Azzopardi.

Carlmont had won the game 21-14.

The Bearcats were no longer a contender for PALs.

“We had some struggles offensively. I thought our defense played great versus a really talented team,” said San Mateo coach Jeff Scheller.

Blanks had a total of 184 rushing yards, 24 carries, and three touchdowns.

Overall, every single player on the field stepped up for the game against San Mateo.

Carlmont’s defensive line had kept their heads high and strong throughout the game by only allowing the Bearcats to rush 80 yards.

“Looking back at all the hard work we have put in throughout the offseason, 3-hour practice after school, spending our summer grinding, and morning lifts, there was no way we were going to lose motivation. We were going to fight full force until the last whistle blew, which we ended up doing. It paid off for us in the end with a close win,” said Darian Dennler, a junior.

It is no secret the Scots are excited for the next three games, all at home. On Oct. 13, the Scots will be competing against Mills.

 

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Varsity football season record at 6-0 after San Mateo victory