Quite simply, it's why they play the games.
Heading into last Friday's Foothill at Amador Valley non-league football game (the two are different divisions of the East Bay Athletic League, thus the midseason game), few outside of the Foothill locker room gave the Falcons a chance.
And it was with good reason, as the Falcons were 0-3 on the season and were coming off a 35-0 loss to El Cerrito, a team Amador fell to 14-7 in their season opener.
Amador, on the other hand, just posted its most impressive performance of the season -- a 41-34 win over Monte Vista.
I thought Amador was the much stronger team, but when this rivalry comes to be each year, anything can and often does happen.
Friday's final: Foothill 12, Amador Valley 7.
I have seen maybe 35 Amador-Foothill games, and it seems like whichever team is the underdog comes out on top.
Arguably the hero of the game last week was Foothill linebacker Jake Patterson.
Middle linebacker is one of the most punishing positions and Patterson plays it well. What made him the hero Friday was the job he did running the football.
Technically, Patterson is the No. 6 option at running back for the following reasons: Jackson Chandler (injury), Samear Lattier (transfer), Dylan Sousa (opted to play baseball), Charlie Stearns (injured) and Isaac Amiri (injured) were the top five options heading into the season at running back.
But here was Patterson, playing running back and playing it just like a middle linebacker would -- bashing and pounding the ball throughout the game through the Amador defense.
His runs in the final series of the game iced it for Foothill. All bruising right through the teeth of the Amador defense.
Foothill faces Livermore this week before jumping into Mountain Division play where the Falcons will face the gauntlet of Monte Vista, Clayton Valley, De La Salle, San Ramon Valley and California.
The Dons have a week off then open Valley Division play against Dougherty Valley.
Amador fans don't need to be talked off the ledge. The Dons are going to be just fine and are still the prohibitive favorites to win the East Bay Athletic League's Valley crown.
Now that they get transfer quarterback Tristin Tia back, as well as his cousin, lineman Paul Tia, I fully expect the Dons to make a deep run in the North Coast Section playoffs.
Foothill girls' volleyball
In what Foothill coach Dusty Collins is calling one of the best weeks in his long tenure as the Falcons leader, Foothill took a pair of EBAL matches, then won a tournament over the weekend.
First up was a big showdown with Amador -- the team that provided the lone blemish on the Falcons record. Foothill got even with a 25-13, 24-26, 25-16, 24-26, 15-12 win.
Highlights came from Paige Bennett (29 kills, 14 digs, 10 service points), Katie Salonga (61 assists, 10 digs), Kaycie Burdick (17 kills, 14 digs), Kait Vogel (20 digs, 12 service points) and Ema Vukojevic (9 kills, 1 block).
Next was a 25-18, 25-15, 25-18 win over Granada. Highlights were provided by Sophia Burdick (13 kills, 6 digs), Paige Nelson (5 kills, 1 block) and Lulu Hoenninger (4 kills).
Last Saturday, the Falcons took the Sonoma Valley Paganini Varsity Tournament going 6-0 without dropping a set.
In pool play, Foothill beat Del Norte 2-0, Sonoma Valley 2-0 and Acalanes 2-0.
In the quarterfinals they dumped Terra Linda 2-0, and in the semifinals they took out Ukiah 2-0. The championship saw Foothill continue with a 2-0 win over Redwood.
Salonga was placed on the All-Tournament team and named the MVP of the tournament.
Amador girls' water polo
The Dons got six goals from Susan Swyers and four from Abigail Jones in a 15-6 win over Livermore.
Maya Amiel added three, with Olivia Vollgraf and Tanishka Tambe scoring one each. Deepika Suresh had eight saves for the Dons.
Amador-Foothill girls' tennis
The Falcons took the crosstown match 5-4 when the No. 6 singles' came down to an 11-9 tiebreak.
The deciding match came when Hayden Lu edged Chloe Fan in a 3-6, 6-3 (11-9) thriller.
Sagarika Kashyap got a win for the Falcons with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Vedika Gowda. Isabelle Kang won 6-1, 6-4 over Aashivi Geddam for another Foothill win.
Foothill also got singles' win from Michelle Lee who topped Megha Reddy 6-0, 6-1. The Falcons doubles team of Priscilla Lam/Lanie Win beat Harushie Raj/Sydney So 6-1, 6-4.
For the Dons, Montana Parkinson-Lubold kept her winning ways intact with a 6-1, 6-1 win against Maya Wu. Neha Reddy pulled out a 3-6, 6-2 (10-1) win over Amelia Umentu to give the Dons another win.
In doubles, Alayna West/Aditi Deshpande of Amador beat Clara Song/Nika Naik 6-3, 6-4. Finally, the team of Avital Belau/Rhea Anand beat Grace Mundadan/Arya Nair 6-3, 6-4 to give the Dons their other win.