Homestead defeats MVHS on senior night

Christian Fatoohi

The Mustangs beat the Matadors 13-9 to keep their undefeated record and give MVHS their first loss.

Many Matadors came in boasting outrageous haircuts, but this was not enough to gain them the victory. On Oct. 31, the 7-0 Matadors battled also undefeated Homestead in their senior night football game. It was a tight game until the very end, but turnovers were costly for the Matadors, who lost 13-9 and disappointed the many MVHS fans who made it out on the rainy Halloween night.

On MVHS’ opening drive of the game, they drove the ball down the field and got a touchdown on a long pass from quarterback senior Justin Rahn to senior Max Ratkovich. But Ratkovich failed to convert the point after, leaving the score 6-0.

The score stayed at 6-0 until the middle of the second quarter, when a short punt left Homestead beginning at MVHS’ 42-yard line. Homestead led their attack with their running back, senior Alex Lumidao. They just kept running the ball, and MVHS was unable to stop them. Homstead’s quarterback, senior Derek Shull, could not complete one pass all game, so they kept looking to run the ball. This strategy seemed to work well for Homestead, as Lumidao had success throughout the game against the Matadors’ defense. They kept running the ball until it was first-and-goal. Lumidao then ran the ball in for nine yards and the touchdown. Junior Robert Betancourt converted the extra point to put Homestead up 7-6.

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Senior Max Ratkovich avoids a defensive player

Despite the strong start with a touchdown on the opening drive, MVHS was unable to drive down the field against Homestead’s tough defense as they had in previous games. The Matadors turned the ball over five times throughout the game, including two interceptions and three fumbles. Whenever they were looking to advance the ball, turnovers got in their way. The Mustangs never dominated this game. The Matadors were essentially beating themselves with their numerous mistakes. On MVHS’ last possession of the half, they drove the ball to get the crowd pumped up again. They were deep in Homestead territory and threatening to score, when Rahn threw an interception right before halftime.

The second half began, and on the Matadors’ first possession, they started with great field position after a weak punt from the Mustangs. They drove the ball until they had first-and-goal from Homestead’s 9-yard line. They failed to score a touchdown so they had to bring on the field goal unit and attempt a 22-yard field goal. Ratkovich split the uprights and the field goal was good to put MVHS back on top 9-7. Unfortunately for MVHS, this was the last lead they would have all game, and it didn’t last long.

In the Matadors’ next possession, Rahn fumbled the ball and the Mustangs recovered leaving Homestead at MVHS’ 4-yard line. Lumidao was able to pound the ball through the hole for a 4-yard touchdown run on their first play. Homestead went for two, but it was no good. They were now ahead 13-9.

Now, MVHS had one last chance to try to take the lead to remain undefeated. Rahn brought the crowd back into the game after two long runs. The Matadors then converted on fourth-and-one with a play action 17-yard pass to senior Aaron Turner. MVHS was driving the ball down the field and approaching Homestead’s end zone. But then with all the pressure on and the game on the line, Homestead senior Casey Anker intercepted Rahn’s pass, leaving the MVHS crowd stunned and the Homestead crowd cheering in delight. Homestead went on to run the clock out and took the victory, 13-9.

“It was a great football game for both teams,” Homestead coach Charlie Bostic said. “Hopefully Monta Vista will win some more games and we’ll see them in the playoffs. They deserve to make it.”