Friday, Oct. 7 was the annual Smudge Pot game. In years past, the Redlands East Valley Wildcats blew out Redlands High School (52-14 in 2015, 40-14 in 2014, and 45-7 in 2013) but this year it was a closer game, with a score of 28-14.
The game started out rocky for the Wildcats. They allowed Redlands to score early, but by the second quarter they had gained their momentum and soon started to outshine Redlands. They had the same struggle on Friday as they do every Friday, offense. That is what held them back from blowing out the Terriers like years past. With team captain senior Jaelan Phillips in the defense, the Wildcats were able to hold back the Terriers with the exceptions of a return and a deep pass. Punter Duncan Glover expressed his satisfaction with how the team played, but also acknowledged difficulties and struggles.
The student sections of both high schools were louder than usual, although football players Apollo Espinoza and Seth Zappia agreed that they could not hear the Redlands side throughout the game. REV senior, Alex Roberts, said the he, “enjoyed the game but I was surprised that RHS’ had the first touchdown.” For foreign exchange student, Alice Cimaschiu, this was her first football game. She said the game, “was amazing. (It was) like rugby.” She compared the energy of the game to soccer games in Italy. When asked if she enjoyed the game she smiled and said, “Yes it was a lot of fun.”
The game is not only fun for those watching put for the players as well. Apollo Espinoza, Seth Zappia, Matthew Whiteley, and Ryan Barlow all said that the Smudge Pot is, “ the best game of the year.” Not only does it come with bragging rights for the whole year, it also gives the returning players a goal for next season. When asked about how the game will go next year Apollo Espinoza said, “(losing) Mando will hurt us a lot. Harp is a good quarterback, but beside Isaiah Holiness and Gabe (Clark) and Billy (Bownes) I don’t know it our offense is going to be all that great. Defense I feel like will be good next year.”
Matthew Whiteley added that, “Coach Tess is a genius.” Apollo concluded with saying, “Next year is going to be the same. It’s going to rock.” With the Wildcats looking to keep their winning streak, the city will look forward to the game of the season.