THE FINAL FACEOFF. Both Montgomery and Santa Rosa High School fought their hardest to pull out the win, and throughout the game, the sportsmanship and respectful crowd was one of the most rewarding outcomes of the game along with the win. The Santa Rosa football team dug deep and put all their effort into making this much anticipated game a success.
Article and photo by Zoe Kowalczyk
A fight until the end. Home at Never’s field, the Santa Rosa High School Football team played and won both Junior Varsity and Varsity games against their long-standing rival, Montgomery High School. That night, on October 8th, a flood of orange and black, mirrored by Montgomery’s red and white, filled the stands of Never’s Field. The undisputed tension between the high schools and their extended rivalry made the Panthers in the bleachers scream much louder, and the players on the field dig a little deeper, to ultimately pull out the win against their rivals.
Leading up to the big game was the long-awaited Spirit Week that featured classic spirit days such as Monty Nerd Day and The Day of Mourning. Both days are intended to send a message to the Vikings that Santa Rosa High School is not only more spirited but more dedicated to showing spirit. The funeral that takes place on The Day of Mourning in regards to the death of the Viking is definitely a staple of the build-up to the big game. “Everybody dressed up to celebrate one thing, the death of our rival school’s mascot the Viking,” said Senior Andre Achacon when asked if he thought the spirit day would help bring the school together not only for the rally but for the game as well. That unity and spirit carried into that anticipated Friday night at Never’s field where we faced the Vikings.
Without question, both teams put nothing but their best effort throughout the game. At the beginning of the third quarter, the Panthers had extended their lead over the Vikings, 14-0. Later into the third quarter, the Panthers scored yet again pushing their lead to 21-0. The Vikings began picking up the pace and responded with their first touchdown to end the third quarter, and another to start the fourth. 21-14. With under 3 minutes left on the clock, the Panthers got down to the 15-yard line and scored yet again to finish the game with a score of 28-14. That same feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment was met with the JV team and their win, with the winning score of 32-14. As SRHS Principle Kimberly Clissold said when asked who had more spirit, Montgomery or Santa Rosa, “I would not be able to really speak intelligently about what the spirit looks like over at Montgomery right now…They were spirited when I was there but Santa Rosa spirit, black and orange, can’t beat it.”
“My junior year, we lost this trophy, and it means a lot to me that finally, we got it back our senior year… It means so much to me.” senior Carlitos Pardo tells the Press Democrat. This win was more than just an entertaining Friday night football game, this game was about how hard the SRHS Panthers football team was willing to fight to pull out this win we all wanted to see.