Already ahead 13-0 on the scoreboard, the Chargers’ offense moved the ball downfield to try and build on their lead before the end of the first half. Quarterback Carson Yates ‘20 stepped back into the pocket and threw a deep pass towards wide receiver Preston Gook ‘19, who hauled the ball in on a diving catch. This play set up the Chargers for a rushing touchdown and gave the team a boost to their momentum heading into the halftime break.
The Chargers and Mustangs faced each other in the yearly Battle of the Den game in the team’s third league game of the year. The Battle of the Den is a yearly match between the Chargers and the Pioneer Mustangs that is generally the biggest rivalry game of the year. In last year’s Battle of the Den, the stakes were raised as a shield-shaped trophy was made to be given to the winning team. With this 40-20 victory over the Mustangs, the Chargers were able to hold onto the coveted trophy for the second straight year—a streak they hope to maintain.
“In order to prepare for the Battle of the Den game, we practiced passing and rushing for a while by doing more reps to get the plays down and became more focused,” running back, Jesse Cavanna ‘20 said.
The Chargers, who entered the game with a season record of 1-1, not only hoped to win against the school’s rival, but also hoped to get the number one place in the Mount Hamilton Division. This game was not only a rivalry matchup but it was also important to carry the legacy that the previous year’s seniors had started.
“Battle of the Den is one of the more important games for the players,” offensive guard, Carson North ‘19 said. “This win means everything because the seniors last year fought hard to win their Battle of the Den game and we did not want to let Pioneer beat us.”
The team was led by Yates and Cavanna, both contributing over 100 yards to the team’s run-based offense that totaled 305 total rushing yards in the game. Combined with the 185 yards the team earned through passing the ball, the Chargers’ offense seemed unstoppable throughout the whole game.
“It starts up front with the big guys, like me. We have to give the quarterback enough time to get the ball off. It not only gives the quarterback enough time to make a decision, but gives time for the recievers to execute their routes.” North said.
Little details contributed to the team’s success, as made apparent by the Chargers’ win over Pioneer High School. This second consecutive Battle of the Den win not only brings home the trophy, but also improves the team’s record, as they move higher in the Division 1 Mount Hamilton division. Currently tied for fourth in the division, the team continues to work on all facets of their offense and defense and focuses on qualifying for Central Coast Section playoffs.