Wildcats lose the Smudgepot for the first time in seven years

By TATUM MAPES

     Redlands High School and Redlands East Valley High School students, parents, and faculty entered Dodge stadium for the rivalry game of the year: the Smudgepot on Oct. 4.

Featured above is senior varsity player John Gill demonstrating good sportsmanship on the Dodge field during the game on Friday night. This interaction occurred leading up of kick-off.   (Amanda Duong/ Ethic Photo)

   The REV Wildcats were expected to win for an eighth consecutive year, but they were met with unexpected competition from the RHS Terriers, who eventually took home the coveted trophy with a close score of 20-17.

      The first quarter was a constant uphill battle for both teams, ending with no score.

      The real action began in the second quarter, when RHS ran into the end zone, scoring what would have been a touchdown. However, the touchdown was not counted due to a holding penalty. Surprisingly, and probably much to the dismay of the Terriers, the same thing happened again.

REV varsity football team in mid-play at the Dodge Stadium in downtown Redlands on Oct. 4, 2019. The scores were still significantly close at this point. (Amanda Duong /Ethic News)

       After two uncalled touchdowns, the Terriers finally scored the first touchdown of the night accompanied by an extra point. The first half ended with a score of 7-0.

In the third quarter, REV finally got some points on the scoreboard, tying the game 7-7. This success was short lived, however, because RHS regained its lead later with another touchdown and extra point, ending the quarter with a score of 14-7. 

      The wildcats scored a touchdown and extra point in the fourth quarter, and the game remained tied for the rest of the quarter, taking the teams into overtime.

 The stress, anticipation, and anxiety brought on by the start of overtime was easily felt by many in the stadium, and this tension was eased for the wildcats by starting kicker, REV senior Kapena Kamakawiwoole’s, surprise field goal, finally putting them in the lead with a score of 14-17. The wildcat cheers and celebrations were brief, however; within thirty seconds the terriers scored a final touchdown with a fake out play and a Hail Mary pass. 

  Redlands East Valley Wildcat defensive line attempts to regain possession of the ball on Oct. 4 2019  Redlands High School’s Dodge stadium. At this point the Wildcats were trailing by a score of 7-0 and were determined to prevent the Terriers from scoring again. (Amanda Duong/ Ethic News)

      And just like that, the game was over, and the Smudgepot trophy made its way to the terriers’ side for the first time in almost seven years. 

      It is important to note that the lucrative streaker tradition continued with two groups running across the football field during timeouts and breaks. One of them, later identified as an RHS student, seriously injured his leg in his attempt to get over the wall. He quickly received medical attention.

At the Dodge stadium, on Oct. 4, 2019, REV varsity football players gather on the field before the game begins with an American and REV flag. At this point the stadiums were filled on both sides with supportive family members, students, and others from the community. (Amanda Duong/Ethic News)

     School affiliation aside, this was an unbelievably well fought match that kept everyone in the stadium on the edges of their seats, and while this was a devastating loss for the reigning wildcats, they can rest knowing that they fought until, quite literally, the very end.

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