Friday, September 1, 2017
Santa Teresa High School
San Mateo High School
Under their new stadium lights and in front of the biggest night-game crowd in years, the San Mateo Bearcats stayed as hot as Friday’s record temperatures and handed the Saints of Santa Teresa a 21-7 defeat. An estimated 500 students, parents, band members, cheer and dance teams saw the Bearcats improve to 2-0 on the season. Both wins came against teams from what are considered stronger leagues in CCS.
Like last week’s win at South San Francisco, the Bearcats started slowly in their home opener. The Saints were no better as neither team could move the ball in the first quarter of play. Four times each team’s offense came on to the field and four times they went 3 and out At the start of the second quarter, Bearcats kicker Juan Guzman’s punt pinned Santa Teresa down at their own 5 yard line. With 3rd and 12 on their 3 the Saints finally earned the first 1st down of the game by either team. The play might have resulted in a 97 yard touchdown but for the great hustle of defensive end Arie Blemur who came clear across the field to make the saving tackle. The Bearcat defense eventually held the Saints and continued to do so throughout the first half.
With less than 5 minutes in the 2nd quarter, San Mateo’ offense put the first points on the board. Jose Ontiveros completed a 20 yard pass to Jake Jeffries to take the lead 7-0. Guzman kicked the extra point (3 for 3 on the night) and less than 2 minutes later, playing free safety, he intercepted a Saints’ pass and returned it to San Mateo’s 49. The drive stalled at the Saint 22 however and the Bearcats went into half time with a one touchdown lead. Santa Teresa tied the score in the 3rd quarter after a nice drive that included a 4th and long conversion inside the Bearcat 35 yard line. It ended with a short pass for a TD that knotted the score at 7-7. The Bearcats answered on their next possession. Anthony Villalobos returned the ensuing kickoff to the Bearcat 40 yard line. A good drive was then capped by another Ontiveros TD pass. This one went to Kevin Grant from 13 yards out to retake the lead 14-7 with under a minute to play in the 3rd quarter.
The game was still very much up for grabs with 5:10 to play in the 4th. Santa Teresa was in possession when Da’Hareeha Allen intercepted an errant Saint’s pass and returned it nearly 50 yards to put the Bearcats in front 21-7. The Bearcat’s stingy defense held again and Villalobos helped ice the game on offense with a 24 yard run from scrimmage, giving San Mateo a first down at the Saint’s 30 with 2:39 to play. Facing 4th and 1 with 1:36 to play, a 16 yard Ontiveros to Jeffries connection to the Saint’s 5 evaporated any hope on the Santa Teresa sideline. Ontiveros took a knee at the 3 as time expired.
Next Friday night SMHS remains on their home turf against the Eagles of Los Altos with a pregame dedication of the new stadium lights and sound system. The Bearcats are looking for revenge after losing last year’s game at LAHS, 21-17. The Eagles enter this game with 1-1 record, coming of a 29-19 victory at Soquel Saturday night.