By Daniela Alvarez
On September 13, the Granada Hills varsity Highlanders defeated their longtime rivals the Kennedy Cougars, with a final score of 31-6 at John Elway Stadium. This is the first win for the Highlanders in the 2019 football season.
The Highlanders stunned the Cougars in a highly-anticipated match that packed John Elway Stadium to the brim. Dependent on a rushing offense, the Highlanders scored four touchdowns. Senior Samuel Ahn led the team with 252 rushing yards, averaging 8.4 yards per carry. The Cougars were only able to muster up a single touchdown during the game.
The Highlanders, who suffered losses during the first three games of the 2019 season, came away with a significant win against the cross-town rivals.
The rivalry football match was one that began like any other. Only this time, both the home and visiting sides were packed with students supporting their respective football teams. While the Granada side flaunted black clothing and green banners, the Kennedy side contrasted with white shirts and gold flags of their own.
The rivalry on the field was certainly reflected within the stands as well, with the Highlanders blocking out any attempts for the Cougars to make their presence known by overwhelming them with noise, cheers, and high energy.
After an uneventful first quarter with a score of 0-0, the Cougars struck first in the second quarter in the game with a touchdown of their own. Despite their attempt at a 2-point conversion which was blocked by the Highlanders, the Cougars led the match at 6-0.
Soon afterwards, the Highlanders fought back with a touchdown that would even the score. Additionally, the Highlanders completed a 2-point conversion which would give them a lead of 8-6.
The Highlanders dominated the scoreboard from then on. In the third quarter, they scored two more rushing touchdowns, with both attempts to score 2-point conversions succeeding. With the score now 24-6, the Cougars were left without answers as their attempts to move the football down the field fell short each time. Not to mention, the energy on the visiting side was beginning to dwindle down.
By the fourth quarter, the Highlanders’ victory was surely secured. With 9 minutes left on the clock, the Highlanders scored yet another touchdown and decided to settle for a field goal attempt that would give them an additional point. Senior Cordelia Cross, the only girl on the team and former player for the school’s varsity soccer team, completed the kick that would give the Highlanders a definitive 31-6 lead.
By the end of the game, the Highlanders rejoiced not only for their first win of the season, but to keep the trophy they call “Tina” in GHC. The visiting stands were all but empty by the game’s end, while the home stands were still jubilant even as the final whistle blew.
After a slow start to the beginning of the season, the win against Kennedy may be the catalyst for their turn around.