San Lorenzo Express News
Rebel Football Squad Plays for State Championship
DECEMBER 10 update (see below)
DECEMBER 5, 2003
The San Lorenzo High School varsity football team will try for the North Coast Section championship tomorrow in a game against top-seeded Miramonte at 4 p.m. in the Oakland Coliseum. This will be the Rebels' first bid for the title since 1979.
The Rebels (10-2) won their place in tomorrow's game by defeating the Campolindo Cougars 21-16 last Saturday. The Cougars (10-2) were held virtually scoreless for the first three quarters of the game after kicking a field goal for a 3-0 lead early in the game.
In the second quarter the Rebels maintained possession for all but 2 minutes and 30 seconds of the period. Following an 11-play, 75-yard drive by San Lorenzo, defensive back Ryan Battle made a 1-yard dive into the end zone for the Rebel's first touchdown. Isaac Fanene's 27-yard field goal gave the Rebels 3 more points.
Middway through the third quarter Byron McGhee gained 58 yards before he was brought down. Later McGhee scored, giving the Rebels a 15-3 lead.
In the fourth quarter Campolindo fought back, cutting the Rebel's lead to 15-10. Three plays later the Cougars forced the Rebels to punt, but a Cougars player undercut the punter, resulting in an automatic first down for the Rebels. The Rebels took quick advantage of the situation, with Battle running a 15-yard TD. The conversion failed, but the Rebels now had a comfortable 21-10 lead with 4:59 left in the game.
The Cougars moved like a tornado in a 3-play, 49-yard drive to earn another TD, putting the game at 21-16.
With only 2:08 minutes left in the game, San Lorenzo fumbled at its own 10-yard line. Campolindo moved the ball to 3 yards short of the end zone in two quick running plays. On the third down, the Cougars attempted a pass into the end zone, but Battle intercepted and got away to the 29. The game was over.
The 5-foot-8 Battle was clearly a potent force for the Rebels against Campolindo. But so was the team's beleaguered defense, which kept the vaunted Campolindo quarterback Nick Graziano from his customary success. Graziano came into the game against the Rebels with a record of 33 touchdowns for 2,352 yards, but against San Lorenzo he was held to 13 completions out of 26 passes for a gain of 220 yards.
The Rebels defeated Hayward Area Athletic League leader Hayward High 40-34 in week 9 of the season but were kept to a second place finish in the league. Coach Jeff Haagenson was accorded the league's Coach of the Year honors.
Rebels Lose to Miramonte
San Lorenzo High dominated the first half of its championship game against Miramonte Dec. 6 but could not hold back a fierce Miramonte offensive in the last seven minutes of the game. The Rebels lost 36-12 to the Matadors, who took their third North Coast Section championship in four years.
In the first quarter the Rebels controlled the ball for 8:13 compared to just 3:30 for the Matadors. The Rebels scored first in a 73-yard pass play to Marlon Haynes. On their next possession the Rebels held the ball for 7:12, mounting a 13-play, 49-yard drive.
Dominick Carrie scored twice for the Matadors on short runs (four and two) in the second and third quarters. Just 54 seconds after the Matadors' score in the third quarter, the Rebels posted their own score in a 79-yard pass from senior quarterback Houston Lillard to Haynes, cutting the Matadors' lead to 13-12.
However, Miramonte quickly scored again -- in three plays -- on a 54-yard pass with 6:13 left in the third quarter. The score remained at 20-12 until midway through the fourth quarter, when the Matadors unleashed a steady offensive, earning two more touchdowns and a safety when Rebel Ryan Battle was tackled in the end zone.
Total yardage for San Lorenzo in the game was 415, compared to 451 for Miramonte. The difference was due to Miramonte's superior gain in passing (256 yards, compared to San Lorenzo's 183).
[Based on reports in the Daily Review.]