Football Advances to NCS Title Game


Mariel Rossi deVries, Lifestyle Editer

On a particularly cold fall evening, with temperatures dipping to the the low 30s, varsity football faced off against the Redwood Giants from Larkspur in the 2nd round of NCS on November 18. After a tense first half, the Cougars rallied and won by a score of 59- 28.

According the coach Kevin Macy, the game plan was focused on defense and containment. After early struggles to counter Redwood’s star running back, senior Nick Calzaretta, the Cougars made adjustments that turned the tide.

“Their running back definitely was really good. It wasn’t a hype. We came in with a really good game plan. It took us a while to settle in because of nerves, and then the second half we really just buckled up and followed our assignments,” said senior Lev Garcia.

According to Garcia, the team knew they wouldn’t be able to completely stop Calzaretta, but worked instead to contain his efforts.

The game began with a touchdown by junior Vincent Mossotti, but Redwood countered so that the game was tied 7-7 at the end of the 1st quarter.

Both teams scored in the 2nd quarter as well. With less than a minute before the half, senior Matthew Ringquist ran the ball into the end zone to give the Cougars a 14 point advantage.

“We got an interception early on, which really helped the defense gain some confidence. We really struggled to stop the run, that running back really gashed us on some plays. It was a really back and forth 1st half,” said Macy.

“Our defense was having a bit of a hard time keeping our heads up and tackling,” said senior Kannah Cruikshank of his squad’s 1st half play.

According to Joey Berzins, the halftime discussion was straight forward. “We decided whether it was up to us whether we wanted it hard enough or not and left it up to the players,” said Berzins.

In the 2nd half, Campolindo scored 3 touchdowns. The 3rd quarter ended with the Cougars leading 59-21.

“They got out of their game plan, made some turnovers and some stops. We kind of took over from there and really blew the game out in the second half,” said Macy.

Redwood did manage to score another touchdown with 7 minutes remaining.

“It was a good game. It started out a little slow, seemed like a rough game, then we kept fighting. After locker room, we had a talk and decided that we had to choose whether we wanted it enough to get to next week or not,” said Berzins.

Macy said that he saw great offense from senior Jacob Westphal and good defense from Garcia. He also recognized junior Cole Berzins. “It was a really big game for him. He went on defense in the 2nd half and made some big tackles and got a fumble recovery,” Macy explained.

The win moved the team to the next round of the playoffs, which was made sweeter with the holiday week homecoming of several former players who visited practice sessions.

“This means so much. Next week is every team’s goal that they set at the beginning of the year. They get to watch us on one final game and that means a lot to us, especially those of us who have older brothers on the team,” said Garcia.

Garcia’s older brother, Tiger Garcia, returned from UC Davis to watch the varsity team play.

The semifinal against Ukiah High School was held at home on November 25. The Cougars won 48-7 and advanced to the NCS finals at Diablo Valley College on December 2.