Undersized, Outmanned Football Fights to NorCal Title

Madeleine Singh, Sports Editor

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The Cougars will advance to the state championship game against Bakersfield Christian after prevailing over the Palma Chieftains in the NorCal Division 4-AA Championship, 30-21, on December 9.

In the NorCal game, Palma’s Emilio Martinez scored an 87-yard touchdown just minutes into the 1st quarter when Campolindo fumbled on their 1st possession. The Cougars countered with a field goal from junior Seppi Ortman, resulting in a score of 3-7 at the end of the quarter.

“Normally, when you make a certain number of mistakes, you’re doomed,” head coach Kevin Macy told The Mercury News. “Luckily, we fought it off and came back.”

With the help of seniors Branden Bocobo and Lev Garcia, Campolindo scored 2 touchdowns in the 2nd quarter, putting them 2 points ahead of the favored Chieftains, 16-14, at the half.  The Cougars would not fall behind again.

Junior John Torchio scored a 46-yard defensive touchdown to increase the Cougars’ lead at the beginning of the 2nd half.

Palma scored a touchdown early in the 4th, bringing them within 2 points of the lead. With 4 minutes to go, quarterback Jacob Westphal completed a 13-yard pass to Bocobo, sealing the win, 30-21.

Westphal finished the game with 28 completions for 418 yards. “Jacob Westphal was just incredible,” Macy said. “Just unreal. Not only just completing passes, he was completing passes with so many blitzes and taking so many hits.” 

The 4-AA state title game will be contested on December 17 at 6pm at Bakersfield Christian High School.

While the Cougars have been an underdog in this post season, Macy likes his team’s chances in the state title matchup. “This is not a team with a lot of depth and size, but just so much heart and fight,” said Macy. “Just so much fight in them. I can’t believe we’re in the position we’re in right now.”

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