News

Pleasanton Preps: Foothill football storms back for 21-17 win at Amador

Also: You won't believe what happened in visitor bleachers that night

Foothill players listening to their coach after the 21-17 win over Amador Valley last week. (Photo by Natalie Walsh)

It sounds like an over-used sports cliche, but learning from a loss can be important in the maturity of a team.

For the Foothill football team that learning moment came three weeks back when the Falcons lost 34-20 to Vanden of Fairfield.

For the Amador Valley team, that moment may have come when they fell 21-17 to Foothill last week.

In the loss to Vanden, the Falcons were overwhelmed in the first half, but rallied in the second half, with the game being closer than the final score indicated.

"I said right after (Vanden) that we needed that loss," Foothill coach Greg Haubner said. "I told the kids afterwards that I wanted to take that team from the second half of the game and move forward."

What's local journalism worth to you?

Support PleasantonWeekly.com for as little as $5/month.

Join

Against the crosstown rival Dons, the Falcons fell behind 14-0 early, and with the Amador defense having not allowed a touchdown in four games worth of quarters played, it didn't look good.

"It was no fun being down 14-0 to your rival with the entire town watching either in person or on TV," Haubner said.

Then something happened for Foothill as they went out and did something no team had done to Amador this year -- they ran the ball and controlled the clock.

First it was a long drive at the end of the first half, followed by a long drive to open the second half with both ending in touchdowns to tie the game at 14-14.

It put the Dons in a new position they had not been in at any point in their first four games.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox in our Express newsletter.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox in our Express newsletter.

"We had never been there before," Amador coach Danny Jones said. "It's tough to win a game when a team scores at the end of the first half, then comes back and scores to open the second half."

The Dons responded with a drive back down the field, with one of the key plays of the game coming when Amador had it third-and-goal.

Amador quarterback EJ Thomsen, who had been running well all night, got a leg cramp after being brought down at the Foothill 2-yard line on third down.

Because Thomsen required medical attention, he was forced to leave the game for a play with Amador facing a fourth down at the two.

That forced Jones' hand to kick the field goal instead of going for the touchdown.

"I had a play ready, but I wasn't going to go for it with the backup quarterback," Jones said. "I love taking the lead and playing defense from there."

Hard to blame Jones for the decision since the Amador defense has been so good the whole season. But when it's a rivalry game, often the norm goes out the window.

The Falcons put together a nine-minute drive to win the game. There was a big third-and-long pickup and the touchdown came on a fourth-and-goal.

Let the learning process begin for the Dons.

"We have to learn how to finish and get off the field," Jones said. "We've got great leadership with this team. It is a tough loss, but we will learn from it and move on."

To me the real winners on the night were the city of Pleasanton as well as the players on both teams. Throughout the game, players were helping players on the other team get up or pat each other on the helmets. Great sportsmanship from both teams.

"It's a great rivalry, great kids -- a great game for everyone," Jones said. "I was proud of all the kids on both sides. It was great to see us back to normal and have so many people at the game. Both teams left it all out there on the field."

You can't make this up!

On the negative side of the Foothill-Amador game was an incident in the visitor bleachers.

Every school in the East Bay Athletic League has smaller bleachers on the visitors' side, and that usually leads to parents and students cramming into a much smaller area than usual.

And it always goes off without a hitch -- well almost always. It seems Friday night there was a small group of Foothill parents who did not appreciate the students standing up during the game.

The small group asked the students to sit down or move so they could see. The kids in turn asked the parents to find another seat because they wanted to stand and cheer.

The Foothill administration explained to the adults -- and in this case I use the term adults loosely -- that the students had every right to stand and support their team.

Remember, these are the same students who have been held hostage by the pandemic and this was the first full Amador-Foothill game in two years. It's their game and school to support.

Well, the admin's response to the group didn't sit well with what has been described as a belligerent Foothill parent who opted to find her own solution by calling 911.

That's right, she called 911 at the police department! The officer at the game, who also works with the school, was on hand and explained there was nothing they could do.

For what it's worth, I think the caller should have been arrested for abusing the 911 line. Like I said above, you can't make this up!

Foothill girls water polo

The Falcons kept their winning streak alive with a 14-4 varsity win over American.

Top scorers were Elizabeth Williams with six goals, followed by Anna Taylor with three goals. Valentina Avalos had two goals, as did Claire Gersich. Anna Berhard had one goal.

Shristi Rath had eight saves, with Jane Ruby adding two.

In the JV game, Foothill won 14-0. Addison Southern led the way with four goals, with Kennedy Morgan adding three. Clare Alexander and Maanya Raghuram got their first goals of the season.

Editor's note: Dennis Miller is a contributing sports writer for the Pleasanton Weekly. To contact him about his Pleasanton Preps column, email [email protected]

A front row seat to local high school sports.

Check out our new newsletter, the Playbook.

Looking for more Livermore stories? The Livermore Vine will be your new source of vital news and information. Sign up to be among the first to get our daily local news headlines sent to your inbox for free.

Follow PleasantonWeekly.com and the Pleasanton Weekly on Twitter @pleasantonnews, Facebook and on Instagram @pleasantonweekly for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

Grab a front row seat to local high school sports.
Sign up for our FREE sports newsletter, the Playbook.

Pleasanton Preps: Foothill football storms back for 21-17 win at Amador

Also: You won't believe what happened in visitor bleachers that night

by / Pleasanton Weekly

Uploaded: Tue, Sep 28, 2021, 2:51 pm

It sounds like an over-used sports cliche, but learning from a loss can be important in the maturity of a team.

For the Foothill football team that learning moment came three weeks back when the Falcons lost 34-20 to Vanden of Fairfield.

For the Amador Valley team, that moment may have come when they fell 21-17 to Foothill last week.

In the loss to Vanden, the Falcons were overwhelmed in the first half, but rallied in the second half, with the game being closer than the final score indicated.

"I said right after (Vanden) that we needed that loss," Foothill coach Greg Haubner said. "I told the kids afterwards that I wanted to take that team from the second half of the game and move forward."

Against the crosstown rival Dons, the Falcons fell behind 14-0 early, and with the Amador defense having not allowed a touchdown in four games worth of quarters played, it didn't look good.

"It was no fun being down 14-0 to your rival with the entire town watching either in person or on TV," Haubner said.

Then something happened for Foothill as they went out and did something no team had done to Amador this year -- they ran the ball and controlled the clock.

First it was a long drive at the end of the first half, followed by a long drive to open the second half with both ending in touchdowns to tie the game at 14-14.

It put the Dons in a new position they had not been in at any point in their first four games.

"We had never been there before," Amador coach Danny Jones said. "It's tough to win a game when a team scores at the end of the first half, then comes back and scores to open the second half."

The Dons responded with a drive back down the field, with one of the key plays of the game coming when Amador had it third-and-goal.

Amador quarterback EJ Thomsen, who had been running well all night, got a leg cramp after being brought down at the Foothill 2-yard line on third down.

Because Thomsen required medical attention, he was forced to leave the game for a play with Amador facing a fourth down at the two.

That forced Jones' hand to kick the field goal instead of going for the touchdown.

"I had a play ready, but I wasn't going to go for it with the backup quarterback," Jones said. "I love taking the lead and playing defense from there."

Hard to blame Jones for the decision since the Amador defense has been so good the whole season. But when it's a rivalry game, often the norm goes out the window.

The Falcons put together a nine-minute drive to win the game. There was a big third-and-long pickup and the touchdown came on a fourth-and-goal.

Let the learning process begin for the Dons.

"We have to learn how to finish and get off the field," Jones said. "We've got great leadership with this team. It is a tough loss, but we will learn from it and move on."

To me the real winners on the night were the city of Pleasanton as well as the players on both teams. Throughout the game, players were helping players on the other team get up or pat each other on the helmets. Great sportsmanship from both teams.

"It's a great rivalry, great kids -- a great game for everyone," Jones said. "I was proud of all the kids on both sides. It was great to see us back to normal and have so many people at the game. Both teams left it all out there on the field."

You can't make this up!

On the negative side of the Foothill-Amador game was an incident in the visitor bleachers.

Every school in the East Bay Athletic League has smaller bleachers on the visitors' side, and that usually leads to parents and students cramming into a much smaller area than usual.

And it always goes off without a hitch -- well almost always. It seems Friday night there was a small group of Foothill parents who did not appreciate the students standing up during the game.

The small group asked the students to sit down or move so they could see. The kids in turn asked the parents to find another seat because they wanted to stand and cheer.

The Foothill administration explained to the adults -- and in this case I use the term adults loosely -- that the students had every right to stand and support their team.

Remember, these are the same students who have been held hostage by the pandemic and this was the first full Amador-Foothill game in two years. It's their game and school to support.

Well, the admin's response to the group didn't sit well with what has been described as a belligerent Foothill parent who opted to find her own solution by calling 911.

That's right, she called 911 at the police department! The officer at the game, who also works with the school, was on hand and explained there was nothing they could do.

For what it's worth, I think the caller should have been arrested for abusing the 911 line. Like I said above, you can't make this up!

Foothill girls water polo

The Falcons kept their winning streak alive with a 14-4 varsity win over American.

Top scorers were Elizabeth Williams with six goals, followed by Anna Taylor with three goals. Valentina Avalos had two goals, as did Claire Gersich. Anna Berhard had one goal.

Shristi Rath had eight saves, with Jane Ruby adding two.

In the JV game, Foothill won 14-0. Addison Southern led the way with four goals, with Kennedy Morgan adding three. Clare Alexander and Maanya Raghuram got their first goals of the season.

Editor's note: Dennis Miller is a contributing sports writer for the Pleasanton Weekly. To contact him about his Pleasanton Preps column, email [email protected]

Comments

Foothill Visting Stands Attendee
Registered user
Laguna Oaks
on Sep 29, 2021 at 8:37 pm
Foothill Visting Stands Attendee , Laguna Oaks
Registered user
on Sep 29, 2021 at 8:37 pm

Yikes. Sounds like a one sided story on what really went down in the bleachers at the game. While you are absolutely correct that these students should be excited to root on their team in one of the best cross town rivalries, you may want to check your facts before posting on a public site. Most of the students were very respectful of the parents in the stands. When the bleachers were already packed to capacity and bending from all the weight, students kept piling into a section that had grandparents and parents that were sitting and rooting Foothill on since the JV game. Students were then being pushed and falling all over these grandparents and when respectfully asking them to stop didn’t work and then asking admin for help and they turn away and laugh, parents took it into their own hands and began shouting to students that the section was FULL and they needed to go somewhere else. Again, most students were very respectful but a hand full were insanely disrespectful telling parents and grandparents to F off and that this is their high school football game not the parents or grandparents. Belligerent parents? Try again. Most of the disrespectful teens reeked of marijuana or booze. While I am all for showing team pride and cheering on your team in a huge rivalry this was not a good time nor was it safe at all. Parents nor students are to blame. This was all a lack of planning on administrations part as they should have taped off a student section (as they did when I was in school) or looked at bringing in additional bleachers since, like you said, they have been locked up the past two seasons and looked forward to attending this game. As for the parents being prosecuted for worrying about the safety in the stands, you must be out of your mind. But yeah next time we pack into the bleachers and god forbid something does happen and you can’t evacuate the stadium, I guess we will see if your tone is the same. Excellent Friday night game otherwise.


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Post a comment

In order to encourage respectful and thoughtful discussion, commenting on stories is available to those who are registered users. If you are already a registered user and the commenting form is not below, you need to log in. If you are not registered, you can do so here.

Please make sure your comments are truthful, on-topic and do not disrespect another poster. Don't be snarky or belittling. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

See our announcement about requiring registration for commenting.