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Redwood Bark

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Photo Essay: Varsity football’s triumphant season ends at the hands of Heritage

On Saturday, Nov. 11, Varsity Football hosted Heritage High School in Redwood’s first ever North Coast Section (NCS) game in school history. The energy was buzzing throughout pregame warmups. Heritage was the fifth seed in NCS after going 4-5 in the regular season. Meanwhile, after a successful 7-3 regular season, Redwood fell in their final game against Tamalpais High School in a highly-anticipated matchup against their archrivals, leaving the Giants with a bitter taste in their mouths.

Heading into the game, the Giants, seeded fourth, looked to get out to a fast start. However, this was not the case. Heritage started red hot. They attacked the Giants defense on all cylinders and completely shut down their offensive. The first quarter capped off with a 50-yard touchdown by Heritage, and they led 21-0 after the first ten minutes.

The story of the first quarter summed up the entire game: Redwood never had much success on either end of the ball. Heritage kept pushing offensively with no answer by Redwood’s defense, and the Giants offense did not touch the scoreboard until the fourth quarter. At halftime, the score remained the same at 21-0.

Heading into the second half, Redwood looked to turn the ballgame around. They made a successful opening drive, but got stuffed at the five-yard line on 3rd down after a run by junior Sean Cunneen. This set up a 23-yard field goal attempt by kicker senior Wilson Schwartz, but he pushed it wide left and the Giants remained scoreless. Heritage took advantage of the missed field goal, and heading into the fourth quarter they marched down the field. At the three yard line, they opted to run it and scored yet again.

At this point, the outcome was nearly set in stone, but Heritage was not done yet. They forced another stalled drive from junior Kody Vasquez and the Redwood offense, turning the ball back over to their offense which scored their final touchdown of the afternoon. Halfway through the fourth quarter, the score was 35-0.

Throughout the season, the Giants relied on their fight and grit to win. In this game, down 35-0 with the season all but over in the final quarter, the Giants’ resilience was put on display again. Vazquez capped off the final drive of the season with a 75-yard drive culminating with a six yard touchdown to senior Jackson Walker in the back of the endzone. The Giants opted to go for two and Vazquez found senior Ben Jacobs to convert the two-point conversion.

Senior Grayson McElreath views the season as a success and acknowledged how hard the team worked to put themselves in a position to succeed.

“I’m proud of us as a team, as a unit. We worked [really] hard this season. I think our record shows that. Although we finished 7-4, we played a lot of hard [really good] teams this year and I think we persevered and showed out not only individually, but as a team,” McElreath said. 

Although the season ended in a tough way, as the Giants got blown out 35-8 by Heritage, there were numerous bright spots to reflect upon. For senior Eddie Lin, it was a bittersweet ending but he reflected on the team coming together.

“This season was a blast. Especially for me, coming back after not playing for a year, it was a shock to the system, but the culture we built [and connections] with the rest of the guys along the way made it incredible. I’m proud of all the guys for helping each other become the best players possible. I have nothing else to say besides it was fun as heck,” Lin said

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About the Contributor
Elakai Anela
Elakai Anela, Reporter
Elakai Anela is a senior at Redwood High School and a reporter for The Redwood Bark. He enjoys playing basketball, eating food, and watching sports.