A Close Game, but a Successful Finish

Jennifer Welch, Staff Writer

On Friday, November 13th, the West High varsity football team played against the Leuzinger Olympians at West High. This last Warrior game of the regular season promised to be an exciting one, especially as the victor would go on to play in the CIF Championship. Running back Steven Wood (12) commented, “We practiced hard this week, as pretty much whoever won this game would go on to the playoffs.”

All throughout the game, the score remained close, with both teams struggling to achieve a strong lead. In the fourth quarter, the score was tied at 14-14. Midway through the quarter, a West High touchdown and successful extra point gave the Warriors an advantage of 21-14. Leuzinger, though, countered with a completed touchdown, but missed the extra point, leaving the team at 20-21, and just one point shy of tying the game. With only thirty seconds left in the quarter and game, Leuzinger was nine yards away from its end zone, and in perfect position for the winning touchdown.

The team then attempted a screen pass, a play in which the offensive players allow the defense to break through the line to the quarterback. The offensive players who would have been blocking for the quarterback from the defense instead run and block for the running back that catches the ball from the quarterback and runs. However, when Leuzinger tried to complete this play, the ball did not make it to the running back. Both teams initially believed the ball to be ruled an incomplete pass, which would have ended the play. However, the referees did not signal the play over and the ball as “live,” or capable of being picked up and carried. Steven Wood quickly grabbed the ball and gave West a first down, but more importantly, kept Leuzinger from scoring and ended the game. While the referees agreed that the ruling on this play was correct, a scuffle broke out after the game including the players and parents. The final score of the game was a West High victory of 21-20, allowing West to extend their season into the playoffs.

West placed third in the Bay League after winning this game, and will now go on to play in CIF. Wide receiver D.J. Diaz (12) said, “We had a good season, and we’re proud of what we did.” In relation to the game, he stated, “We really just stayed focused. Our defense played well.” As the team prepares to compete in the playoffs, they are practicing hard to be able to play even better. Wood said, “Right now, we’re working on improving our defense. We are also working on having the offense score more.” The first championship game will be played on Friday, November 20th at 7:30 P.M. against the Warren High Bears at Warren in Downey.