Friday night, Aug. 30, at Redlands High’s Dodge Stadium, the San Gorgonio Spartans took on the Redlands Terriers, in a non-conference game.
The crosstown match-up saw the Spartans lose the game by three points, shades of the State Championship game, in Rio Linda.
From the onset of the game, the Terriers seemed determined to strike first.
Redlands High scored first, with 2:35 left in the first quarter, by Terrier wide receiver Kevin Character. The Terriers scored again, with 9:33 left in the second quarter.
Arturo Diaz, a Terrier running back, rushed for the Redlands’ third touchdown, near the end of the second quarter.
San G was able to put six points on the board. Spartan Jaheim Crawford closed the first half with an interception return for a touchdown, with microseconds remaining.
At the end of the first half, it was Terriers 21 to 6 for San G.
Something happened during half-time, because San Gorgonio seemed on fire during the second half.
The Spartans put two more touchdowns on the scoreboard.
Spartan linebacker and running back Desi Gonzales scored San G’s second touchdown, rushing up the middle with less than eight minutes in the third quarter.
The Spartans were ignited.
Demajea Mitchell, a cornerback and wide receiver for San G, capitalized on a bobbled Terrier snap recovered by Jaylen Matthews.
Mitchell scored, reducing a once significant lead by Redlands.
The score was 21-18.
This score was reminiscent to San G’s loss at the State Championship last year.
With seconds remaining in the game, San G’s QB Seth Burbine was picked off by the Terrier’s Jess X Luna.
That interception closed the book on a potential victory for the Spartans.
The Terriers won the game with a score of 21-18.
Spartan Coach Rich McClure was not satisfied with the evening’s results.
“It’s not very good,” said McClure. “It’s not what we expected. It’s not what we practiced and worked for all season.”
The Spartans did not anticipate the determination of the Terriers.
“We counted our chickens before they hatched,” said McClure. “We didn’t come out and play. We were very rusty coming out. We tried to do some things in the second half and fought back.”
Despite the loss, McClure acknowledged his team’s strength.
“I thought our kids did a good job,” said McClure. “I thought it was even [the physical strength of both teams]. Both sides tackled well. Both sides have good intensity and do their schemes.”
McClure commented on how the Terriers played.
“Obviously, they are much improved than what they were last year,” said McClure. “We got exposed from some of our younger kids playing positions that they didn’t play last year. It’s a growing experience, and there are no excuses.”
Regarding the offense and defense, McClure commented that the defensive line played well.
“They are pretty physical up front. We got into a couple of situations where we were throwing the ball, and we didn’t play good leverage. We changed that, and they understood what was supposed to be happening. Our special teams did a nice job. We got a first down, and some of those kids shined.”
Overall, McClure believes that this game was a good learning experience for the new Spartan team.