The four-game winning streak of Woodside High School's varsity football team came to an end Friday night, Sept. 30, against arch-rival Sequoia High, but not without a valiant effort fought to the last minute, with late scoring by both sides.
Winning by one point, 29-28, the Sequoia Ravens walked away with the trophy log, a 2-foot-long specimen of a tree trunk that the Wildcats had held for two years.
"It was an exciting game from a spectator standpoint," Woodside Head Coach Justin Andrews said. "We have a good team, but we're not great enough to just show up," he said. "If we play poorly, we're going to get beat."
The Wildcats left the field after the first half with a zero on their side of the scoreboard, down 15-0. "The first half was one step forward, two steps back, Andrews said. "We were fortunate enough to be down only 15-0 at the half, given the errors we were making."
On its first possession in the second half, Woodside punted, but Sequoia fumbled deep in its own territory and Woodside recovered then scored with a run from the 3-yard line, putting the score at 15-7.
Sequoia answered with a steady drive down field to another touchdown, making the score 22-7. Woodside responded with a 60-yard kickoff return that led to another touchdown and a score of 22-14.
Woodside then intercepted a pass in Sequoia territory and scored a minute or so later, but missed a two-point conversion, putting Woodside just two points down at 22-20.
Sequoia lost possession again on a fumble, and Woodside lost possession on downs. After a series of punts on both sides, and several significant penalties, Woodside scored and tried (successfully) for two points, making it 28-22, but Sequoia's passing game was relentless and they sewed it up at 29-28 with just seconds left on the clock.
"We put ourselves into some really unfortunate situations," Coach Andrews said. There were missed assignments and missed catches, uncharacteristic for the Wildcats at this point in the season, he said. On offense, too many third-and-long situations limited the Wildcats' options, he said.
"It was a combination of a lot of guys taking turns making mistakes," he said. Sequoia made mistakes, too, but the negative impacts were not as severe, and they capitalized on Wildcat errors, he said.
Going into the game undefeated, "we felt really good at what we were able to do," he said. "For some reason, we really regressed."