Under the Friday night lights in East Oakland, The McClymonds Warriors’ football team fell to the Bishop O’Dowd Dragons, with a final score of 33-26.
Bishop O’Dowd’s home turf was the setting last Friday for the season’s first clash between Oakland’s two top-notch high school football programs, as fans, friends, and family looked on. The game started with a dominant scoring drive by the Dragons. The Warriors fought back hard on the Dragon’s next possession, then scored, and as the first quarter closed the score was close, 8-6 Dragons.
But the second quarter belonged to Bishop O’Dowd. A momentum-changing interception thrown by Bishop O’Dowd’s senior Dominic Miroglio was fumbled, then recovered and returned for a Dragon score.
“Let’s just call that six”, the bewildered-sounding stadium announcer said after the play.
Just before halftime, a promising McClymonds drive stalled short of the goal line. As the time expired and the quarter ended, the Dragons’ head coach Hardy Nickerson sprinted half the length of the field in celebration of his defense’s clutch stance.
The tone of the second half was much the same. Warriors senior wide receiver Jailen Thompson, 27, made two remarkable catches during the game. McClymonds’ sophomore running back/ defensive Lavance Warren, and senior wide receiver Lavon Washington both played exceptionally well in the Warriors’ first loss of the season.
Standout O’Dowd wide receivers Kevin King and Dominic Gomes, both seniors, made their presence felt during Friday night’s competition. Both put up impressive stats, including a touchdown each in the Dragon’s second win of the season.
Although this was an early-season game, the tackling was in mid-season form. Both teams made a number of plays suitable for the highlight reel, and the people in the stands made sure to let the young athletes know that they were appreciated.
The game ended with McClymonds scoring on a last-minute touchdown — too little, though, and too late. Both teams left the field with their heads held high. The Dragons and the Warriors have much to look forward to over the 2012-13 football season, as do their fans.