Friday night’s thrilling 33-27 double overtime victory was the first playoff win for the Santa Clara Bruins football team since 1990. Star tailback Erik Ketton scored two touchdowns in regulation and added two more touchdowns during overtime. Meanwhile the Bruins defense and special teams units both came through with game-saving plays. Michael Perez-Kady blocked an Independence point-after attempt that would have won the game for the Seventy-sixers. Eventually the Bruins sealed the win with a combination sack from Dante Candler and Joey Beltramo on a do-or-die fourth down. On this night, it certainly wasn’t Independence’s day.
Unfortunately for the Bruins, the historic victory didn’t come up all roses. Senior starting quarterback Christopher Brown suffered an injury to his left leg and is doubtful for this Friday’s game against Leland.
“Bag of mixed emotions going through my head,” admitted Ketton on the victory over Independence. “Chris is such a big part of our offense, he runs it, he’s our leader.”
Leading wide receiver Richard Corona is confident that if Brown can’t play, that the offense can still move the ball through the air. The junior receiver noted he played Pop Warner with the remaining quarterbacks on the roster, and that chemistry shouldn’t be too difficult to develop over the week of practice.
Head Coach Hank Roberts was understandably coy on game-plan alterations in case Brown doesn’t play, but he did note that he will find a way to keep Corona involved.
“We’re gonna try creative ways to get Corona and Ketton the ball, so that both of our playmakers get their touches,” noted coach Roberts. “How we’re going to do that is still up the air.”
Perhaps the Bruins don’t have to go up in the air to get Corona the ball. It is possible we see Corona utilized in gadget plays without having to throw the ball downfield. One thing is for certain, Leland would be wise not to follow in Independence’s footsteps and give the Bruins defense bulletin board material. Before last week’s game one of the Seventy-sixers coaches was overheard saying Santa Clara doesn’t care about defense.
“Our defensive guys were pretty upset, pretty mad to hear that, they were pretty much being called out,” noted Corona. “We deferred the coin toss and through our defense out there and they won us the game, so I think they proved a pretty big point.”
The Bruins will take on Leland on Black Friday as they attempt to make school history yet again.