Redlands East Valley takes home the smudge pot

 By CRAIG MORRISON

The Smudge Pot game took place on Oct. 15, 2021, between the Redlands East Valley Wildcats and the Redlands High School Terriers.

The Smudge Pot game was a thrill to watch. Fierce competition was present in the field and stands as the game ran into two overtimes. 

In the first quarter of the game, both teams showed great defense. The ball hardly moved from the Terrier’s end zone as both defenses were making great stops. 

The first touchdown graced the audience in the second quarter with a passing play that resulted in a 7-0 lead for the Wildcats. After this touchdown, Redlands High School made a fantastic kickoff return that would have tied the game; if the flags were not against them. Shortly after, the Terriers threw long for a touchdown to make the score 7-7. This tie would stay for the remainder of the first half of the game.

Redlands East Valley, in the red uniforms, attempting a field goal kick against Redlands High School, in the blue and white uniforms. This field goal kick by the Wildcats to win the game in overtime was just shy of the uprights. (CRAIG MORRISON/ Ethic News photo)

Seven minutes into the third quarter, the Terriers threw another touchdown to make the score 14-7. Tension and excitement was audible in the stands as chants and cheers increased. Two fumbles by the Wildcats and Terriers were seen before the end of the third quarter resulting in the Wildcats having possession going into the fourth.

After another passing play by the Wildcats, the score was once again tied at 14-14 with 9 minutes left of the fourth quarter. The defense increased dramatically on both sides as the clock winded down. 

The last two minutes of the game seemed to crawl by. The Wildcats were holding the Terriers to their end zone and created many attempts to get a touchdown. With just a few seconds remaining before the last quarter ended, the Wildcats attempted a field goal kick to win the game. As the game clock expired, the ball was sent flying into the air, heading just right of the uprights. This sent the game into overtime.

The Terriers started with the ball in overtime. They began a drive that led to an almost game winning touchdown pass. But, it was blocked by the Wildcat defensive player Nate Wells. The Terriers decided to finish their overtime possession with a field goal kick that was just shy of making it in, giving the ball to the Wildcats.

The Wildcats used many quarterback runs to gain yards in their drive. A few long shots were seen but were unsuccessful. The Wildcats resorted to a field goal kick that went to the Terriers sideline and stayed in bounds. This was recovered by the Terriers and almost led to a win for the Terriers, if not for the Wildcat kicker Yaqiym Halliburton. 

The second overtime of the game started with the Terriers’ drive but with no touchdown or field goal, giving possession to the Wildcats. The Wildcats moved the chains with more quarterback runs which ultimately showed little success. An unfair matchup was spotted on the field by Wildcats coaches with Wildcat receiver Laviel Pickett and Terrier cornerback number 15. The sizable height difference gave huge advantages to the Wildcat receiver. 

The Wildcats decided to use this matchup and threw up the ball to Pickett in the endzone. Pickett caught the ball and landed in the endzone, securing the Wildcats as the winners of the Smudge Pot game.

Redlands East Valley Wildcats holding up the Smudge Pot trophy. This win was no easy feat for the team, so the excitement was apparent. (CRAIG MORRISON/ Ethic News photo)

Both teams showed great effort. The suspense and tensions of the game made for an enjoyable experience that will leave many fans waiting in anticipation for next year.

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