A night riddled with emotions, penalties and injuries. The football, band and dancerette senior night at 6:45 p.m., when the senior members were escorted by friends and family to the 50-yard line for their last home performances.
Before the night began, a mass of students-each holding a candle and white balloon- began down the football field’s track in commemoration of Ashley Perdomo.
Perdomo’s family members held up a picture of her and wept prayers. Prior to the game, some football players wrote “R.I.P. Ashley” on their tape.
When the game’s first quarter began, sophomore Tyler Thomas was caught up in “an accident,” he said. Thomas was placed in a boot and crutches, as a result of a sprained ankle. Thomas said that he’s not sure how long he’ll be out.
Senior player Brandon Rivera said that “Blake’s been really ankle biting, which is not a preferred tactic of tackling, and Tyler went to roll out, and he caught a nasty clip with his ankle, and it was immediately sprained. [It] started swelling up pretty bad.”
Despite the injury, Tyler plans to be ready for next week’s game at Brandon High.
After Tyler’s injury, Hillsborough intercepted a Blake offense in the end zone. Sophomore Cori Fant received a pass from senior backup quarterback Caleb Youngblood in the end zone, and after the first quarter, the score was 6-0, Hillsborough.
The second quarter was an imitation of the first; Hillsborough’s defense held strong and the offense scored on a 9-yard rush to take a 12-0 lead. This time, the Terriers attempted a two-point conversion, but the rush fell short and didn’t end up scoring.
Starting the third quarter, Blake capitalized on an interception on their own 28-yard line. Then, with a 23-yard rushing touchdown and point after, Blake drew within one possession as Hillsborough led, 12-7.
At the start of the final quarter, senior Russel Booth put Hillsborough back in the end zone, and this time, the two-point conversion was successful. Hillsborough led, 20-7.
In the end of the fourth quarter, Blake made a touchdown, but a failed point after attempt, keeping Hillsborough in the lead , 20-13. Despite senior middle linebacker, Armand Chalk, twisting his ankle and another fumble recovered by Blake, Hillsborough ended the game with an interception and a winding down clock.
Earl Garcia on being 7-0
After the game, Head Coach Earl Garcia reflected on the 7-0 record. “Well, it feels like we’re 7-0, and we went to war… We put our defense in a difficult situation, and they still came through, and we won the football game… We’ve been 7-0 six times in the last 39 years; I did the research. Yeah,” he said.
Garcia also said that the“first thing [the team is] going to do… [is] enjoy this night, and [the team will] be back to work [at] about 6 a.m. tomorrow, and [they’ll] put [their] game plan together and get [their] players healthy, and off [they’ll] go.”
Garcia said that the team will “absolutely” make the playoffs, which was the team’s goal since last year. “I wake up every morning and that’s the first thing I think of: getting back to the playoffs. When I quit thinking like that, I’ll retire,” he said.