Triton football clinches last-minute win leading up to homecoming

TRITON fans erupt after the blocked kick that saved the game. ASB

Lucas Rapeepat | Head Editor

October 1, 2021

The San Clemente High School football team ended a two-game losing streak in an intense battle last Friday against Murrieta Valley. The exciting game was full of challenges for the Tritons, including a frightening injury to senior Jack Smith, who was taken off the field in an ambulance after being knocked out when going for a tackle. 

Up 21-20 with five minutes on the clock, home field fans and the offense looked on in dread as the opposing Nighthawks marched down the field unhindered by the efforts of the SC defense. Running down the clock to three seconds, Murrieta Valley prepared to kick the game-winning field goal from around 20 yards away, a kick even an average person could make.

TRITONS STORM onto the field in preparation for the game. ASB

The Tritons had finally awoken their offense after two games without reaching the end zone, but it appeared like the improvement would all be in vain. Yet as they lined up for the point-blank field goal, the entire crowd watching with bated breath, it was time for a miracle. After several penalties building tension, the final play began. Senior Jack Demora got a hand on the ball, causing it to fall short of the field goal posts, and San Clemente held on to win a nail-biter as time expired. “I have never seen a crowd so hyped in my life,” junior Grant Sestak said. “The smoke filled up half the bleachers, and everybody was screaming so loud that they would all have sore throats the next day.”

Although they earned their greatest victory of the year, the Triton schedule is not easier from here. The Tritons return to Thalassa Stadium next week against Loyola, a team from Los Angeles who has won five games in a row. Friday also happens to be the Homecoming game, with extra festivities planned and the same theme as the dance, Triton Travel, in which each class wears attire from a different U.S. state. Seniors have New York, juniors have Hawaii, sophomores have Texas, and freshmen have California.

“I am expecting the homecoming football game to be the best one yet,” senior Gavin Stay, an ASB organizer of the event, said. “I can’t wait to be a part of it.” The halftime show will feature a dance competition between all four high school classes, in addition to a firework show. Several rehearsals occurred in the past few weeks after school to prepare for the contest, and, hopefully, each class has an excellent performance to show off. 

The winners of each top five of the Homecoming Court will also be announced, with the newly crowned King and Queen taking the throne. This special event precedes the Homecoming dance itself, which occurs the following night at the practice field. 

“The halftime show should entertain everybody, no matter their tastes,” Stay said. “What we have planned this year is really special.” Returning from the gap year caused by the pandemic, SCHS is looking to have a memorable weekend of football, dancing, and school celebrations.

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