Sports: Football Trumps Burlingame for Homecoming Victory [With Slideshow]
The M-A football bleachers were packed on Friday night’s Homecoming game as the Bears continued their winning streak by besting the undefeated Burlingame Panthers 28-21.
M-A started the game with remarkable intensity on both sides of the ball. After kicking off to Burlingame, the Bears’ defense forced a three and out, resulting in a Burlingame punt. On their ensuing possession, M-A appeared to be stopped, and lined up to punt on fourth down. However, senior Tasi Teu tricked the Panther defense with a fake punt, and ran it up field for a first down. The extended drive for the Bears went on into the Burlingame red zone, resulting in a touchdown pass from quarterback Royce Branning to senior wide receiver Evan Perkins. The drive gave MA a 7-0 lead with 6:47 left in the first quarter.
On M-A’s next possession, Teu once again created great opportunities for the Bears by bringing the ball inside the Burlingame ten yard line with a series of long running plays. With the ball on the two yard line, senior Alan Sakalia ran an outside pitch around the Panthers’ defense to stretch the lead to 14-0, ending the first quarter of play.
Entering the second quarter, M-A cooled off, as the Panthers clawed back into the game. With six minutes left, Burlingame responded with an interception off of Branning’s pass. Taking advantage of this M-A turnover opportunity, the Panthers scored a touchdown, bringing the score to 14-7 at the end of the half.
After halftime, M-A was ready to come out with the fierce intensity and unbreakable mindset and with which they had started the game. The Bears took possession of the ball from the opening kickoff of the second half, driving steadily down the field until a long passing play to Perkins brought the ball within scoring distance. Branning handed off to Sakalia once again, and he pounded the ball across the goal line and scored yet another touchdown, extending M-A’s lead to 21-7.
A sense of anticipation was present as Burlingame scored another touchdown in the fourth quarter, narrowing M-A’s lead to 21-14. M-A found yet another game hanging in the balance as the clock wound down. Similar to last week’s game against Aragon, the Bears’ opposition was driving down field.
Although M-A maintained the lead on the scoreboard throughout the majority of the game, junior defensive lineman Brian Jaggers showed his frustration with Burlingame’s ability to score and stay in the game, saying, “We played with good intensity, but we need to execute better.”
However, the M-A defense prevailed yet again. Teu demonstrated his skills by continuing his dominant game with an interception for the Bears, which he took an impressive forty five yards for a touchdown. The defensive play capped the game off for M-A and the stands went wild.
However Burlingame kept on fighting, and scored their final touchdown with just under 20 seconds left in the fourth quarter. But this long awaited touchdown for the Panthers arrived too late, as the game ended with a final score of 28-21.
The Bears continued an awesome three game winning streak with their Friday night victory. With the consistent strength of the M-A defense, the Bears were able to maintain a powerful offensive performance. Led by the spectacular game of senior Tasi Teu, M-A is carrying momentum into their next game against Half Moon Bay.
However, the Bears continue to be under-satisfied with their performance, determined to improve as they continue further into the regular season.
“We need to work on finishing our games,” said junior linebacker Jonathan Simonian after the game. “Burlingame played hard the whole game and ran plays that worked against the flaws in our defense.”
With these small improvements, M-A has their eyes set on a conference championship in the postseason.
“We have the talent to beat everybody in our future,” said junior Nikhil Goyle. “I see us winning CCS this year if we can keep up with this level of improvement on offense and defense.”
For more photos, check out the gallery below: