Varsity football faces hard defeat against Tam for the first time since 2013

Natalie Welch

This past Saturday afternoon on Oct. 2, fans from both Redwood High School and Tamalpais (Tam) High School flooded Tam’s bleachers with high anticipation for the annual “RESPECT” varsity football game.

Enjoying the game, Redwood’s student section shows up with enthusiasm.

Back in 2019, Redwood swept the scoreboard 36-6, leaving Tam eager for a comeback. This year’s game ended with a tight score of 26-23, only this year, Redwood walked away defeated.

This was the first time since 2013 that Redwood’s varsity football team has lost to Tam.  Redwood started out with a strong defensive line in the first half. Jimmy Phelan, the team captain, commends his teammates for their efforts. 

“We were blocking really well, and Chuck Beyer (Tam linebacker) went down. He came at our defense hard and we hit him back,” Phelan said. 

Sam Janowsky, Redwood linebacker and running back, was hopeful about the game during the first half.

“We had a good first half, but a couple [of our] good drives didn’t end in scores, [which] was unfortunate,” Janowsky said. 

Junior Brady Weingart, Redwood’s quarterback, demonstrated a strong passing game, sending many of his teammates close to the endzone. It was Janowsky who laid the ball right on the goal line, but unfortunately he could not execute a touchdown. Later in the first quarter, Redwood managed to score a touchdown with a nice pass from Weingart to senior Nico Tribuzio. Kicker Conor Weasler tagged on a field goal just before halftime.

With Redwood up 10-0 at the end of the first half, they were feeling confident during halftime.

“We came out in the second half thinking it was kind of over, so we didn’t come out as hard as we could and that cost us the game,” Janowsky said. 

Many of Redwood’s players who typically perform well the entirety of the game, failed to do so in the second half. With countless fumbles and missed catches, it caused major setbacks for the team.

As disappointing as the loss may be, Redwood had some successful plays. Senior Nico Tribuzio was a standout player with a number of highlights. The wide receiver made a beautiful kick return, sprinting down the field whilst dodging the Tam defense. Finally, he landed himself in the end zone, scoring Redwood’s third touchdown of the game. Junior Miles Grossman, a wide receiver, secured a touchdown for the team in the second half as well.

Sprinting down the field post interception, defender Eli Grandy tries to avoid a tackle.

With these touchdowns in mind, head coach Allen Talley thought his team put up a good fight.

“I think our enthusiasm was there, we played well, but we made too many mini mistakes,” Talley said.

Those mini mistakes were the many fumbles and penalties that came from Redwood’s team. 

“We didn’t execute, we made so many mini mistakes. It was a bad day to make a lot of mistakes,” Talley said.

Even though this was a high-stakes game, Talley prepared his players like any other.

“We always prepare the same way, we just try to work hard every week, nothing different,” Talley said. “Every game is a game, so we treat each one the same.” 

Janowsky and his team knew the stakes of the rival game, which only fueled their desperation for victory. 

“We felt like we had to go harder than normal, we didn’t do too much differently, we just wanted it more,” Janowsky said.

The score fluctuated throughout the second half. Redwood maintained their lead over Tam, then began to fall behind. They quickly recovered, grasping another lead, only to end with Tam taking home the win. They ended up with a total of 4 touchdowns. Nevertheless, the Redwood boys kept their heads up until the clock ran out.

“We fought well until the end. We put up a fine drive. They scored and we scored right back,” Janowsky said.

After the game, Redwood’s team had to make amends with their loss. Despite their winning streak against Tam coming to an end, Coach Talley is hopeful for the rest of their season.

“It’s always a fight. It’s always a tough game. That’s why it probably hurts a little more,” said Talley. “[But] we’ll recover, we got to. We’ll be back next week.” 

Join Redwood varsity at Archie Williams next weekend, Oct. 9 at 2 pm, to see how the varsity team redeems themselves.