ROLLING HILLS, CA – Lighthouse suckerpunched Rolling Hills Preparatory 41-15 Friday in its third straight win since the 2013 season of CIF 8-man football began.
The undermanned Saints outgunned their numerous opponents on Sept. 13 and avenged two straight losses to their South Bay rivals from previous years. Sophomore Tex Hagoski opened scoring within minutes of the game start with a daring dash, wiggling free of would-be tackles. With each play, Santa Monica’s Lighthouse Christian Academy showed its intentions of rolling all over Rolling Hills.
Next, senior Joseph “Raising Cain” Kayne powered through to the big 6 points. Next came senior and toughguy quarterback Joel Lahood to sprint into the end zone. In the second half, sophomore Adrian Brizuela, a soccer star cajoled into playing football, intercepted a pass and demonstrated fancy footwork to cross the touchdown line.
Finally, senior Nate Peterson jack-knifed through an onslaught of hulking opponents to get his name on the scoreboard.
It wasn’t supposed to happen this way. Rolling Hills had requested a game with the slumping Saints (slumping for the last two years) because RHP had lost a slew of seniors this year. They had hoped for at least one easy win (against us). Instead, our lopsided victory will be sure to pile up their misery.
But if Rolling Hills had fewer seniors, their entire squad outnumbered ours by almost three to one. In a now-common pattern of brutal injustice, our opponents field both a defensive and offensive squad, which gives their players a needed respite. Meanwhile, our dogged dudes must dig deep down inside to find the energy to equal their adversaries, moving both forward and backward.
When starlet Hagoski limped off the field with a knee injury, Lighthouse threw on its one and only substitute, freshman Will Clancy, who’s never played football before
When his older brother, senior Nick Clancy, took a particularly hard hit, Hagoski removed his ice pack and hobbled back onto to the field to fill the position for one play.
On the surface, it’s pure insanity. But it was a gutsy kind of testosterone display that men love to see on the gridiron. When you analyze the numbers, Lighthouse, with fledgling resources, should NOT be winning. But these kids believe in themselves enough to make every tackle, to make every wild run, to make every handoff.
In a sign of their growing confidence, Lighthouse is making pass completions and surprising opponents with unsuspected plays. That these young men believe in their own leadership and ability is clear. Will the Lighthouse fans, jaded by previous losing seasons, believe in them also?