Eagles defeat Santa Cruz Cardinals in homecoming matchup

October 4, 2015

The varsity football team won its homecoming game against Santa Cruz yesterday with a score of 23-13.

Touchdowns were scored by running back Demonte Aleem (9) and Anthony Contreras (10).

The Eagles began the game with a slow start, dropping six points to the Santa Cruz Cardinals in the first quarter. A strong offense and stellar defense allowed the Eagles to respond with nine points in the second quarter, receiving two points for a safety scored by Jadan McDermott (10) and seven points from touchdown scored by Anthony. They led 9-6 at halftime.

Harker captain and wide receiver Johnathan Keller (12) expressed his thoughts on the opposing team’s performance.

“[Santa Cruz] played well, they started out really strong and we weren’t expecting it, but we played tough, we anchored down, and we showed them what’s up.”

Halftime started with the cheerleading squad and varsity dance troupe performing for spectators, followed by the tug of war finals where the seniors beat the freshman to take first place. The sophomores had beaten the juniors before the game to take third place.

The annual parade of the homecoming court followed these activities, ending with the crowning of homecoming king Edward Sheu (12) and queen Stephanie Huang (12).

The third quarter began with a second touchdown scored by Santa Cruz, putting the Eagles down 13-9. A series of fourth down plays caused both teams to lose the ball multiple times until Harker fought back.

With a little over ten minutes left to play, Demonte ran a handoff from quarterback Nate Kelly (10) into the end zone. With a successful extra point from kicker Oisin Coveney (12), the Eagles took the lead yet again.

“Beast mode,” Demonte said. “I want to thank my O-line…we made it.”

The majority of the fourth quarter still remained, and another touchdown by the Cardinals would have given Santa Cruz the advantage. The Eagles’ defense stepped up to stop the Cardinals on a fourth down play, and with just under four minutes remaining, sealed their victory with another touchdown.


Harker now has a record of 4-1, placing the team at the top of the Bay Football League.

This game showed marked improvement in the team’s performance throughout the season.

“I think we played great. It was a hard fought game which we haven’t had in awhile,” head coach Mike Tirabassi said. “We’ve had a couple of games in a row where the score was a little out of hand early, and we responded. We have not lost a half since the first game of the season which is what i’ve kept asking them to do. They played so hard, our offensive line was amazing, had a lot of guys do great, and our defense did what they do every game.”

Looking ahead to the next half of the season, assistant coach Will Kapp reflects on the impact of a win on homecoming for the upcoming games.

“I was real proud of how we responded to adversity, thought we played hard and great win,” he said. “I thought we played great team football and onto the next one, we got to prepare better, we got to get a little bit better, we got to improve. I want to thank the Harker community for coming together and making this a special night, and I’m really glad we could pull it out. It’s about the school!”

The Harker Eagles will take on Emery High School next Friday.


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