Rivalry games bring an unprecedented intensity on the field that is unparalleled. Taunts are amplified. Runners, hoping to gain every extra inch, make swifter moves. Jitters and nerves blister sweaty and tiring bodies. Tackles are stronger, with cleats and shoulder pads clanging harder than ever.
With 28 consecutive Mission City Bowl regular season victories, as well as a 2000 CCS Div. I playoff victory over the Bruins, the Wilcox Chargers have owned the cross-town rivalry, with 29 consecutive triumphs. With this year’s game contested at Levi’s Stadium, will this be the year that the perennial underdog slays Goliath?
In addition to competing for the pride of being the City’s top team in front of thousands of fans at the “most technologically advanced stadium in the world,” both squads are also competing in the SCVAL De Anza division and this will be a crucial division bout.
The Chargers (3-1, 1-0) come into the game with one of the strongest rushing attacks in the CCS (averaging nearly 300 yards/game on the ground); while the Bruins (1-3, 0-1) have thrived with a growing aerial attack (junior QB Branden Priest threw for 345 yards with five TDs and five INTs last week) and clutch special teams plays.
Both teams are coming off of hair-raising Oct. 3 De Anza division openers.
The Chargers squeaked by reigning CCS Division II semi-finalists Palo Alto (1-4, 0-1) 20-19 after the Chargers stymied a go-ahead two-point conversion by the Vikings with 17 seconds remaining. The Bruins were edged by Saratoga (2-2, 1-0) 41-35 in a back-and-forth battle.
Though the Chargers have dominated for several years, the Bruins nearly eked out a win in 2012, under then-Head Coach Mark Krail, the closest the Bruins have come to victory in the past 10 years. The Bruins were trailing by three with five minutes remaining, having driven to the Chargers’ 12-yard line. A fumble by the Bruins was recovered by the Chargers and returned 88 yards for a TD, thrashing the Bruins’ hopes – who had led 26-21 with 10 minutes remaining, and ultimately fell to Wilcox 36-26.
The Chargers claimed last year’s battle 68-10 at the newly christened Don Bordenave Stadium field at Santa Clara High. Over the past 10 games, the Chargers have outscored the Bruins, 433 to 88.