The energy in Foothill Stadium was palpable even before kickoff as Los Altos (3-0) squared off against rival Mountain View High School Spartans (0-3) at the Homecoming game, last night, September 20.
“The fans were amazing,” senior Ofisa Pati said. “We loved it. It was the most fans we ever had and it was nice hearing non-stop cheering.”
The Eagles won 32-14 in a game that featured a strong defense and passing attack for Los Altos. The team fed off of the energy in the stadium and performed well in many facets of the game.
“The team really showed a lot of heart and energy, and it showed on the field,” receiver junior Patrick McColl said. “The whole team performed really well from the running backs, [offensive] line, receivers, quarterback to the whole defense.”
A defensive stop in the red zone by the Eagles on the Spartan’s opening offensive drive set the tempo for the course of the game.
“We performed great, the defense rallied on the opening drive to keep them from scoring and gaining momentum,” outside linebacker senior Duke Myers said.
The Eagles took the lead with about three minutes remaining in the first quarter with a 47-yard pass from quarterback senior Christopher Lanman to wide receiver senior Victor Ruiz and never let it up from there. The first half exhibited an especially strong aerial attack from Christopher who threw another touchdown pass; this time to Patrick which put the Eagles up convincingly, 17-0. Mountain View responded with a touchdown late in the half but missed the ensuing point-after-touchdown (PAT) and ended the first half with the Eagles up 17-6.
“[Christopher] had a truly remarkable game,” Victor said. “He was just throwing the ball so accurately and getting us all involved in the game.”
The second half featured a strong Eagles defense led by Ofisa, who showcased versatility by notching sacks at both the linebacker and defensive line positions. The offense let their running game control the tempo for the second half as they chewed time off the clock to stave off a potential Spartans comeback.
“In the second half we ran the ball effectively with Sean Lanoza and Patrick Vargas,” sophomore Patrick McColl said. “The defense really had an excellent team performance.”
Duke put the finishing touches on an overall strong performance by the Eagles with an interception returned for a touchdown in the waning seconds of the fourth quarter.
The Eagles have played well this season under the new head coach Trevor Pruitt, who many of the players attribute the team’s recent success to.
“We are off to an amazing start thanks to our head coach Trevor Pruitt,” senior Kian Ayat said. “He is a miracle worker.”
The motivation of the coaching staff helped establish an air of confidence for the Eagles even before the game started.
“When coach Shelly Smith said ‘Who’s going to play with more heart?’,” Victor said. “…I knew we were going to win this game because we have so much more heart and so much more to lose. We proved that we are no longer that 0-10 team [of last season] and this game was just another step closer to our goal of the playoffs and then the championship.”
It was a stark contrast to last year’s Homecoming night game against the Spartans which the Eagles lost 55-8 and fell apart due to inopportune turnovers. The trajectory of the team’s season this year is pointing in a different direction.
“This is definitely our biggest win so far in the season,” Kian said. “We finally got what’s ours back which is the trophy…This is the year we change [Eagles] football”.
The team plays its next game at Mills High School next Friday, September 27.