Matthew Chavez, #22, had a big night with four touchdowns, with three counting toward the win. Isaiah Hamilton, #4, broke the record for the Pick Six play.
Charter Oak High School

Faltering start, terrific end for Charter Oak football

Forty-three minutes to Westlake High School is the time it would take to see the Chargers dominate the field on Friday, Nov.17.

The Chargers prepared day after day for their chance to be CIF champions by advancing from the quarter-final round of CIF play.

The Westlake record was 9-2; they had won their past six games. Ten players have highlight reels–a group of videos which show the enormous impact the player had on the game. Only the best of the best players receive a highlight reel.

The field was bright; Charger fans were segregated on one side of the bleachers with the Warriors on the other. Their cheerleaders–seemly junior varsity and varsity–were scattered across the track turf.

The first quarter of the game had a detrimental impact on the Charger game. Within the first three seconds, the Westlake Warriors scored a touchdown. The hearts of the Chargers sank. Twenty seconds later, Westlake intercepted a 50-yard pass and scored another touchdown shortly after. Charter Oak’s spirit was greatly affected.

The second quarter. Jermaine Braddock, senior, intercepted the ball in a minute and ran into the end zone; this is also known as a pick six. Early into the game, it was made very clear the referees were going to be biased throughout this game. When Braddock scored this touchdown, the referees deliberated whether it counted or not. Further angering Charger fans because of the horrible plays that already been called. The final decision was a touchdown.

Shortly after, the Chargers fumbled the ball, and the Warriors recovered and scored a touchdown.

Matt Chavez, senior, scored a touchdown in the last minute of the half, resulting in an eight point deficient; the score was 28-20.

The crowd was absolutely insane, and everyone was cheering. Charter Oak began portraying the family ideal through the players on the field, the parents and fans in the crowd, and the cheerleaders on the sidelines. Everyone was supportive of each other, and enthusiasm spread.

The third quarter. Isaiah Hamilton, senior, intercepted the ball at the one-yard line and ran across the field to our end zone to score a Charger touchdown. This was a new record for Charter Oak of the closest pick six. A 99-yard run, incredible! Although, we did not gain the two-extra points, the score was almost tied. The consolation was Charter Oak broke a record.

With three minutes left of the third quarter, Westlake brought over more security on our side to dampen our spirit. Although our crowd was small, they responded with an increase of Charger spirit–booing the referees, cheering extremely loud, and yelling explicitly at the referees.

Matt Chavez, No. 22, scored a touchdown in the last minute; however, he dropped the ball so the points were dismissed.

The fourth quarter. After three chances of running the ball and failing, Jalen Palacios passed the ball to Chavez, gaining 50 yards. Then Matt scored a touchdown, putting the Chargers ahead 33-28.

The crowd went absolutely insane.

With four minutes left in the game, the Chargers decided to run the ball and scored again. The touchdown was carried by Chavez.

The final score was 39-28.

Tears of pure joy and excitement of possibly winning CIF were forming in my eyes. The boys were filled with enthusiasm by the screams of the Charter Oak fans. I was so proud of the boys and what they accomplished.

Now, the boys go onto the semifinals and have a chance of moving on to claim the title of CIF champions.

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