After a disappointing season last year, the school’s football team is looking to find out what the upcoming season has to offer.
In 2008, the Eagles had a record of 1-9 in the De Anza League, continuously playing schools with teams triple their size, such as Los Gatos and Wilcox.
“It was tough,” senior Tim Vanneman said. “Being in a lower division will definitely help us restart. We expect to be contenders for the league title.”
After suffering from losses, it might be easy for the team to lose morale. But according to senior Scott Abramo, after moving to the El Camino League, the boost in team morale is substantial.
“The guys in the locker room are really pumped,” Scott said. “Last year later on in the season there was a lot of clowning around because the teams were really good, but this year we’re taking it much more seriously. And because we’re taking it more seriously, we’re having more fun.”
The football team started its first game of the season in a close loss, 13-12, against Mills High School. There were two fumbles—one per team—in the first two minutes of the first quarter.
Both teams were left scoreless until Mills broke the tie with a short screen pass to their halfback with 15 seconds left.
“Our mistakes were more a lack of concentration for our team,” senior Josiah Loh said. “We made too many mistakes, and that’s what cost us the game. We are much better than we played.”
The Eagles came back in the third quarter with three consecutive first downs with three long runs by fullback junior Terence Cape. After a pass that was intended for tight-end senior Kelly Clark went too long in the end zone, Tim found Scott for a 20-yard touchdown pass to tie the game with 2:16 left in the third quarter.
The Eagles’ defense picked up to end the third quarter as linebacker sophomore Nolan O’Such sacked Mills’ quarterback for a loss of 16 yards.
After a first down pass to tight-end senior Nicky Young, a block by Scott let Tim scramble for 20 yards, and led a drive in the fourth quarter. Tim ended the drive with his second touchdown pass of the day, this time to Terence with 5:19 left in the fourth. But after recording their second touchdown of the game, the Eagles failed their second two-point conversion of the day.
“[The two drives] definitely helped,” cornerback junior Giovanni Ibarra said. “The team wasn’t happy with the score at halftime, so we came out and scored 12 straight points. It was a good sign seeing that our offense was capable of driving down the length of the field and score to take the lead.”
Soon after the Eagles took the first lead of the game, defensive players grew tired after playing both sides of the ball. After holding the Marauders for 3 quarters, the Eagles allowed Mills’ halfback 3 consecutive runs for over 50 yards. Ending their quick drive with a counter-play, the Marauders regained their lead at 13-12.
The Eagles pressured Mills with a 40-yard drive in the last 3 minutes, but with 40 seconds left in the game, Tim threw an interception in the end zone with a pass intended for receiver junior Joey Giacomini.
“It was pretty disappointing,” Josiah said. “We worked hard to get that close to scoring and we made mistakes. We are all working hard and we are confident that it won’t happen again. We don’t want to be in that situation again where we have to score to win. We want to be in front.”