Saturday, November 4, 2017
Burlingame High School
San Mateo High School
BEARCATS LOSE TOUGH BATTLE
In the 90th edition of the Little Big Game vs. Burlingame for the Paw trophy, SMHS fought hard but ultimately suffered too many key injuries to hang on to a slim lead. Leading 3-0 at halftime, the Bearcats lost the battle 20-10 before a large crowd on their home turf.
Already without one of their leading receivers Kevin Grant, a bad omen occurred in pregame warm-ups when starting running back Jonathan Ramirez tweaked his ankle. Although he still played Saturday, Ramirez did not have his usual solid game. That was just the beginning of the Bearcat’s injury report. Quarterback Jose Ontiveros was hurt late in the 2nd quarter as was defensive end Ari Blemur and starting running back and safety D’hay Allen. All three are seniors and have been key starters to this season’s winning ways. They would all would return to action in the 2nd half but none of the trio were playing at full strength. Ontiveros was hurt again in the 3rd quarter and junior Matt Angel, having recently recovered from shoulder surgery, was moved from TE to QB where he played his first two years on JV. But in the 4th quarter Angel went down hard when he was blindsided while attempting a pass and was helped off the field.
The game was a hard fought defensive battle in the first half, with San Mateo accounting for the only score. The Bearcat defense was solid the entire half, three times repelling 4th down attempts by the Panthers, one of those times on 4th and 1 at the Bearcat 9. San Mateo’s score came on their very first possession. After stopping BHS on 4th and 4 on the Panther 46, Allen broke off a 24 yard run that put the Bearcat’s inside the Panther 25. The drive stopped there however and Juan Guzman easily connected on a 38 yard field goal, his longest to date and adding to what has been an outstanding season for the junior kicker, punter, and free safety.
The 2nd half began with the teams trading punts. On San Mateo’s second possesion, Ontiveros connected on a 42 yard pass play to WR Jake Jeffries to reach the Panther 17. Looking like they were going to add to their 3-0 lead, things suddenly turned against the Bearcats. Ontiveros was hit while in the act of throwing and the pass was picked off by the Panthers at their own 13. BHS then marched the length of the field and scored on a 4 yard run. The hold on the extra point was off however, so the lead was only 3 points at 6-0 where it stayed entering the 4th quarter. Burlingame’s first possession in the 4th resulted in another drive and touchdown to widen their lead to 13-3. San Mateo looked to get back in the game starting their next possession on their 35, but that is when Angel took his hard hit while attempting to pass. The ball popped up before Angel could get the pass off and a BHS player grabbed it out of the air and ran it in for their 3rd and final TD.
San Mateo added a late touchdown after blocking a Burlingame punt in Panther territory. A few plays later, even with Ontiveros banged up, he managed to throw a nice 25 yard pass in the end zone to Jeffries to make the final score 20-10. The Bearcats finish their season with a league game at Capuchino next Friday with an early 6:00 p.m. kickoff.