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Football Triumphs over Mountain View in CCS Championship, Falls in State Semifinals.

Tyler Wong

Missing key players, including senior and starting quarterback Declan Packer (concussion) and junior and one of the state’s top 10 linebackers Joseph Kessler (knee), the varsity football team lost to St. Vincent de Paul 28-26 at the state semifinals in the California Interscholastic Federation Northern California Championship.

Despite the setback, the team kept a win within arms reach throughout the game. Notably, freshman and quarterback Justin Fung threw three touchdowns.

A blocked point after touchdown and a missed two-point conversion contributed to the close loss.

Despite his concussion, Packer said he was proud of Fung’s performance despite the loss.

“I wanted to be out there, but I wasn’t able to, so I prepared him,” Packer said. “I prepared Justin as best I could, and he did very well.”

Senior and running back Jeremiah Madrigal said he liked how the team came together during the season.

“The players were really a family this year, and I think a lot of people respected each other’s opinions and just wanted to do everything they wanted to succeed at the end,” Madrigal said. “The team was very enthusiastic on the way we started off the season with two wins, two big wins. We lost a little momentum after losing a couple of games in a row without scoring, but we came together, pushed through, and made it where we are now.”

Senior wide receiver Jason Auzenne had 110 receiving yards on five catches in the final game, highlighted by a 42-yard touchdown reception.

“Going into what was my final game in high school, I just wanted to leave it all out on the field,” Auzenne said. “To try my best and give it all I got. Knowing that I did the best I could, and no matter what the outcome is, I just know I did my best.”

Looking to the future, Packer said he thinks next year’s team will be special with a young, talented core that will have significant playoff experience.

“The future’s bright with a bunch of these young athletes starting their year on varsity in the playoffs and actually succeeding, winning a CCS championship,” Packer said. “I think next year is going to be even better than the previous two years, and I’m just excited to watch.”

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