Owls Football: Defense and Timely Scoring Preserves Perfect Season

At the start of October the Foothill Owls were dominating the circuit with a five game winning streak: 5-0 for the season and 2-0 within their conference. In the first game of this month on October 7th, the Owls went up against the Redwoods Community College Corsairs for what seemed, based purely on stats, like would be an easy win. The Owls’ offense averaged 20.0 points and 315.2 total yards per game while the defense allowed just 11.8 points and 285.6 total yards per game this season, versus the Corsairs who, in addition to going 1-3 so far this season, have an offense that averaged 16.0 points and 205.6 total yards per game and a defense that allowed 29.0 points and 268.5 yards per game not including Saturdays. On paper, this matchup looked to be no sweat for the undefeated Owls.


When the game began, the Owls chose to receive the ball and started with their offense on the field. Immediately though, the offense that took the field did not seem parallelled in strength to the Owls’ previous stats. Throughout the first quarter, the Owls’ offensive plays seemed difficult and unsuccessful. They struggled to put together an effective drive; their passing game, although at moments explosive, was inconsistent; their running game seemed nonexistent; and they would gain only a few yards before getting bottled up and snuffed out by the Corsairs defense. The majority of the first quarter was filled with three and outs and punting. This poor execution was coming not only from the Owls, but also the Corsairs who similarly struggled.

The Owls offensive inconsistencies put pressure on the defense to play well, but they failed to take advantage of the Owls’ momentary struggles. It seemed, based on the performance of both teams, that the score would remain 0-0 when the quarter came to an end. But with approximately only 2 minutes left on the clock, the offense, starting on their own 15, completed an 85 yard drive on two plays, capped off by a touchdown pass from Steven Mueller to Jared King for 77 yards. Thanks to this play and a botched extra point kick, the quarter ended with a score of 6-0.


As the game entered the second and third quarters, the Owls’ explosive offensive play style — appearing for the first time near the end of the first quarter — seemed to dissipate, and revert back to inconsistency. Both the Corsairs and the Owls struggled to make plays offensively, so this game became a back and forth battle between defenses. With the Owls offense was back to its first quarter woes, the Foothill players seemed to become visibly frustrated. Brendon Cole, the tight end for the Owls, earned two personal fouls, which ultimately resulted in his ejection from the game. When asked if his frustration got the better of him, he said “I usually take [it] play by play so I’m not so emotional, but this incident was more personal and selfish of me. He kept hitting me on the head and I did let the frustration get the best of me and in return, I hurt the team.” He elaborated, saying that “it was stupid and selfish and I shouldn’t have let it happen. In the end, it only hurts me, the rest of the game, and the next league game this week.”


Following the ejection, the Owls turned the ball over on downs, giving it to the Corsairs on their 41. The Corsairs were then able to drive the ball to the Owls 32 yard line before the third quarter ended.


At the opening of the fourth quarter, the Corsairs had a chance to score due to their proximity to the end zone at the Owls 23 yard line. But the Owls’ defense stayed fiercely resilient and forced a turnover on downs. After receiving the ball on their own 23 yard line, the Owls’ offense marched steadily downfield for a 77 yard drive on 7 plays which ended with a 7 yard rushing touchdown by Triston Pebria and a completed 2-point conversion attempt to Jared King.

Shortly after that touchdown, the fourth quarter came to an end with a celebratory final score of 14-0. Players, fans, and Foothill staff were ecstatic to see the win. Though they struggled in the beginning to put together a cohesive offense, the Owls players were able to come out of the game with a W and a, so far, intact undefeated season.