Photo By: Shirley Pefley/Special to the Town Crier
It’s been that kind of year for the Los Altos High football team. As the Eagles moved into position to win their first game of the season, they were hampered by their own clock and lost 14-12 to Harker.
With the clock on the school’s new wireless scoreboard malfunctioning, the referees kept the time on the field for Los Altos’ final drive – making it even more difficult for the Eagles to manage the 1:21 remaining with one timeout. Starting at its own 10-yard line, Los Altos drove to Harker’s 16 – with the refs shouting the time left between plays – but couldn’t get off another snap before the final whistle blew.
“It’s really frustrating,” quarterback Christopher “Lambie” Lanman said. “It’s hard to run a two-minute drill regardless, but when the clock’s not functioning, that’s another story.”
Lanman, who threw for two touchdowns Saturday, was 3-for-5 passing for 48 yards on the drive and ran twice for 11 yards.
“Lambie did a great job, being in that situation for the first time ever,” Eagles coach Rudy Alcala said.
Running back Daniel Orozco, in his first start, ran a draw play for 12 yards on the last drive and finished with a team-high 100 yards rushing.
“Daniel ran well, and that’s encouraging,” said Alcala, whose squad fell to 0-2 in the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League El Camino Division and 0-6 overall. “Now we know we can run and move the ball.”
Before Saturday’s game, Los Altos struggled moving the ball at all. The Eagles had scored just two touchdowns.
Although Los Altos didn’t score in the first half against Harker (1-2 league, 3-4 overall), it reached the red zone three times. The Eagles went on fourth down every time and failed to convert.
The game was scoreless until midway through the second quarter when Harker halfback Devonte Smith raced 56 yards down the sideline for a touchdown. Quarterback Spenser Quash then hooked up with receiver Robert Deng on the two-point pass.
Los Altos opened the second half with a touchdown of its own. Lanman found receiver Victor Ruiz open downfield for a 46-yard score. The Eagles attempted the two-point play to tie, but Lanman’s pass fell incomplete. This left the score 8-6 with 10:31 remaining in the third quarter.
Harker extended its lead on the first play of the fourth on Quash’s 2-yard plunge. The botched extra-point try enabled Los Altos to stay in striking distance, down 14-6.
The Eagles then put together what Alcala called “our best drive all year.” Los Altos marched 90 yards in 13 plays, scoring on Lanman’s 8-yard toss to tight end Conrad Rogers. But the pair couldn’t repeat the feat on the two-point try, leaving Harker with a 14-12 advantage with 5:38 to play.
While disappointed by the result of the two-point attempt – a pass play that Lanman said the team had never run before – the junior was pleased with Los Altos’ longest scoring drive of the season.
“It was just management – we all just managed the game right there. We took over as a unit,” said Lanman, who finished 14 of 23 passing for 167 yards. “If we can repeat that throughout the whole game, I see no reason why we should lose any more games.”
Alcala saw several encouraging signs from his Eagles, who suited up only 23 players.
“We had some great moments,” he said. “If we can continue to get better and execute for four quarters, we can do some good things. We just need to be more disciplined than we are.”
Los Altos was flagged for nine penalties and committed two turnovers (both fumbles).
And what about that clock?
“I don’t know what the answer is,” Alcala said, “but we’re working on it.”
Los Altos athletic director Kim Cave said there is a time delay in the new clock and the manufacturer is looking into it.
Mountain View Friday lost to Los Gatos for the 40th time in 41 tries. The visiting Wildcats prevailed 38-13 in the SCVAL De Anza Division contest.
Both of the Spartans’ scores came in the second half on runs by Marcus Jones (1 and 12 yards).
Mountain View dipped to 0-3 in league and 2-4 in overall.
Lancers lose at home
St. Ignatius defeated host St. Francis 22-7 Friday night, holding the Lancers to 50 yards rushing.
St. Francis scored on a 1-yard run by Landon Baty in the opening quarter.
The Lancers fell to 2-1 in the West Catholic Athletic league and 3-3 overall.
Panthers win road game
Pinewood topped Anzar 28-14 Friday in eight-man football.
Greg Naumann returned an interception 75 yards for a touchdown and made 18 tackles for the visiting Panthers (2-1 overall).