The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

Improbable Comebacks End in 27-27 Tie Against Santa Cruz

The Los Altos Eagles tied the Santa Cruz Cardinals 27-27 on Friday, September 24 in one of the most memorable football games of the past few seasons.

The game was a tale of two halves, the first dominated by the Eagles, the second by Santa Cruz.

Each team led valiant comebacks, the Eagles’ completed when senior wide receiver Martin Aycott, filling in for injured starting quarterback sophomore Steven McLean, scored on a QB sneak with less than 10 seconds remaining.

At first though, late game heroics did not seem necessary, as Los Altos raced out to a 20-0 lead. Senior running back Jason Lopez had a 6-yard touchdown run and Martin and senior WR Joey Giacomini hauled in 4 and 30-yard touchdown passes from Steven.

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However, the Cardinals’ offense was soon going full sprint, as they scored long touchdown runs at the very end of the first half and beginning of the second.

The Santa Cruz defense also seemed to have adapted to the Eagles’ offense at halftime, forcing the Eagles into unproductive possessions in the second half.

Another long Cardinal touchdown run, followed by a two-point conversion tied the game at 20-20. The Eagles’ frustration would help the Cardinals take the lead later, as a personal foul penalty by senior safety Edwin Zuniga set Santa Cruz up near the 15-yard line.

They quickly scored again to complete their comeback and take the lead 27-20.

The next possession was even more devastating to the Eagles than the Santa Cruz comeback, as Steven injured his wrist on a hard tackle while attempting to scramble away from pressure. Backup quarterback junior Todd Grimm had previously suffered a concussion, so Martin filled in and took control of the offense.

However, Martin’s very first throw was intercepted, increasing the impending sense that the Eagles perfect record would soon be finished.

The Eagles defense stepped up, giving Martin and the offense one more chance to change the momentum and result of the game. A penalty and 3 uncompleted passes later though, and the Eagles were faced with a 4th and 15.

With the game on the line, Martin chucked the ball 45-yards to Joey, who hauled it in and just barely managed to keep his feet in bounds. A few plays later, Martin scrambled 10-yards on 3rd down to the end zone, knocking over the pylon. However, he was ruled out at the half-yard line, setting up another tense 4th down, which he converted for the score.

Senior kicker Brett Serviss stepped up and nailed the point after attempt to complete the Eagles’ own improbable comeback, despite being injured himself.

Steven is expected to miss 3-4 weeks as he recovers from what is likely a fractured wrist. He had been 11/20 for 130-yards with 2 touchdowns before his injury; 23/40 for 356-yards and 7 touchdowns for the year.

The Eagles also continued their season dominance rushing with 28 carries for 234 yards, led by Jason with 15 carries for 101 yards.

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