Los Altos football kicks off season with dominant win against Independence


Matthew Diederich

The team looks on from the sideline during the first quarter. Los Altos High School goes on to beat Independence High School in a dominating first game.

The Los Altos High School varsity football team opened their season at home Friday night with a 44–8 victory against the Independence High School 76ers. After last season’s historic playoff success, the Eagles look to once again establish themselves as contenders for the CCS title.

The team opened the first quarter with stifling defensive play, forcing the Sixers to punt less than two minutes into the game. Marching down from midfield, the Eagles made short work of the Sixers’ defense with a 29-yard touchdown pass to junior Andrew Campos. Just minutes later, senior Leo Goebel made the score 15–0 with a defensive touchdown following a botched snap near the end zone.

“It felt pretty incredible,” Leo said. “I was supposed to hit the guy, and he dropped the ball. You see the ball, you get the ball.”

Leading into halftime, the Eagles resumed their passing assault with a 17-yard touchdown throw to senior Tom Schumann before the defense capped off the final minutes with a staunch goal-line stand. Defending with just a few yards to spare, the team stopped rushing attempts on all four downs and denied the Sixers any first half points.

Coming out of the 22–0 half, the Eagles continued to dismantle the Sixers’s defense with a 20-yard pass to senior Zach Fagin and a diving score by Tom — his second of the night — for a 36–0 shut-out lead. An additional touchdown by Leo following a Sixer fumble increased the lead to 44-0, and although Independence scored in the final minutes, the night closed out 44-8.

Even with the six-touchdown win, the team acknowledged that they’ll have to minimize in-game mistakes if they hope to reach last year’s level of success.

“We can’t complain about the result, but there’s a lot of stuff to fix,” Tom said. “This isn’t going to cut it, but it’s the first game, so we’re a little rusty.”

“We left a lot of points on the scoreboard that we should’ve gotten,” first-year head coach Mike Garrity said.

Despite the hiccups, an undeniable surge of excitement erupted on the field as the scoreboard winded to zero and the sidelines cleared.

“It’s awesome,” Garrity said. “Everyone on the roster played, which is great, and I think winning football games is deserved by our group.”

“I think we’re better [than last year] to be honest,” Tom said. “We have a lot of potential, and we’re going to get a lot better—we can do crazy things this season.”

The team will face Carlmont High School at home in the stadium next week on Thursday, September 1.