Josh Hall, Ryan Lam, and Claire Swartzlander
To kick off the Maranatha Minutemen Football season, the Varsity Minutemen debuted a smoldering defense in a tough battle which resulted in a 6 – 6 tie versus the Rim of the World Fighting Scots. The Junior Varsity debuted their dangerous aerial assault in a 21- 0 blowout victory. In the Varsity Game, Dmitri Mata stood out above the rest as one of the most impactful players on the field, while in the Junior Varsity Game Isaac Fields and Daniel McAllister stood out with strong performances.
Varsity Game Recap
During the first drive of the game, the minutemen were being driven back into their own territory by a punishing Rim of the World run game, until the Minutemen made some key adjustments and held off the Fighting Scots. The Scots turned the ball over on downs, and immediately the Minutemen fired a pass to Dmitri Mata which was flagged for DPI (Defensive Pass Interference). The Minutemen were held scoreless and forced to punt. The ensuing drives for both teams were fruitless and resulted in a combined 0 points during the first half. Terrance Lang and Mason Swinnie closed off the half strongly recording a sack each in the Scots final two drives.
The second half started off with a returned kick to the 50 yard line, where the minutemen had begun to drive down the field, but were held scoreless once again. Later in the half, the Fighting Scots had completed a touchdown pass down the left sideline, and proceeded to go for two points but fell short. The Maranatha Minutemen responded in the last 2 minutes with a scoring drive capped off by a short pass from Kwon Peterson to Dmitri Mata, and proceeded to sprint towards the right sideline and reached for a 12 yard Minutemen Touchdown. The PAT (Point After Touchdown) was made only to be called back by an illegal formation penalty, the second attempt was immediately blocked by the Scots to keep the game tied at 6 – 6. After regulation, it was decided that the game would not proceed into overtime and the outcome of the game would go down as a 6 – 6 tie.
JV Game Recap
The JV team played a great game amassing 5 sacks in the game with 4 being in the first half, also opening their game and their season with a
kick return for a touchdown by Emi Rivas. Daniel McAllister shined on both sides of the ball with about 60 rushing yards in the first half, an interception, and multiple tackles before his injury. Isaac Fields also played a key role in Maranatha’s decisive victory, throwing multiple beautiful bombs for 30+ yards down the sidelines, of those throws there were 3 dropped passes which could have gone for touchdowns, and running by defenders for 24 yards, on a critical 3rd down and 7.
After going 6-4 in the previous season, the Maranatha Minutemen are facing a tough, yet winnable schedule featuring games against San Dimas and Arcadia High School. The Maranatha Minutemen are bringing back many key players, along with an excellent coaching staff. Currently, there are 9 returning seniors and almost the entire coaching staff from last season is returning. The team is stacked with talented athletes at all positions, and also full of players who know how to fight it out in tough games. Throughout an entire summer of blood, sweat, and tears, this group has developed from a group of individuals who play football into a family.
This year, the Maranatha football team looks great in practice and is poised to make another deep CIF run. With a stifling defense and a potentially explosive offense, the Maranatha Football team appears to be ready to take on any and all opposing teams. Maranatha is projected to win the Olympic league title this year, the Maranatha Football team is expected to finish the regular season with either a 7-2-1 record.
Interview with Dmitri Mata
Q) What were your expectations going into the game, and how did the drive up and elevation affect you?
A) We were ready going into the game. The film got us prepared and everything they ran was expected. The drive up to arrowhead was a fun experience with the team, but the elevation was difficult. Everybody was short of breath, but we fought through it.
Q) How do you think the team played?
A) The team played really well, our defense stepped up when we had to. With our backs against the wall we fought and stopped their offense in their red zone multiple times.
Q) What feelings and emotions were running through your head after tying the game up with an incredible catch and run for a score?
A) Scoring the tying point was great! It got everybody excited and our boosted our momentum. It was a great feeling, everyone was fighting and punching it in for the touchdown got us back in the game.
Q) What do you expect to see from San Dimas?
A) We can expect this team to run the ball often, which means we gotta read our keys and tackle better. San Dimas is a really great program we just have to come out prepared and play at our best level.
Q) What did you learn from this game? How did this experience impact the team?
A) I learned that we have a team full a fighters, we fought all the way to the last whistle and were ready to play overtime. Coming up was a great team bonding experience, also our team is only getting better and that’s pretty terrifying.
Game to watch
Maranatha will be going to war against a tough Arcadia football team this year where, they will rely on each other and also on Christ for strength and perseverance to pull through with a win. Come out to support your Maranatha Football family at Arcadia high school (180 Campus Drive, Arcadia, CA). See you in the Endzone!