Varsity boys football defeat Campbell Hall in a quarterfinal CIF game

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Bruce Nguyen, Staff writer

The Walnut Mustangs come out on top against the Campbell Hall Vikings in their CIF quarter-final home game Friday, Nov. 11.

The first quarter started with the ball in the Viking’s possession, until corner-running back senior Ethan Acosta-Elizalde intercepted the ball, running it to the end zone. The Vikings tried to tie it up by throwing more long tosses, but it would get intercepted again, causing a turnover to Walnut . With two downs, Walnut’s running back receiver junior Demetrius Stampley runs it into the endzone, ending the first quarter 12-0.

“[Getting that first point] felt good because when I picked it off, I saw the path in front of me.I just trust in my speed and took the ball in.” Acosta-Elizalde said. “It felt great [that] the whole line did [a] good [job] blocked for us in the beginning, it felt good to get the first touchdown on my first carry.”

Vikings, now far behind, tried to make their way to the Mustangs end zone, but would get interrupted by Acosta-Elizalde. Who ran a running touchdown from the 20 yard line all the way to the enemy endzone, making the score 18-0 and stayed this with for the rest of the quarter.

“The last game was a great experience in my time here. We never really made it past [quarter-finals]. It was a close game and a lot of high intense moments.” Running-outside line back senior Elias Riojas said. “It was good going into the second half, it felt good. I think it was 18-0, and I believe going into that second half [we] felt really confident. Unfortunately, we did let a kickoff return go by.”

Starting the third quarter, Walnut kicked off to the Vikings, and unexpectedly they had a kickoff return and took the ball down to our end zone, and kick it to the the goal post for an extra point. Walnut, alarmed by this, hardened their defense as fast as they could, but not before the Vikings scored another touchdown and completed the kick. The final score for this quarter is 18-14.

“[Even though the Vikings were gaining points], I felt like we still have this because I believe in my team and what we accomplished and what we do at practice,” Stampley said. “During the second half, [Vikings] came out and scored a touchdown, but I still kept the energy going and kept the team pumped up even though they were coming back.”

Starting the ending quarter, both teams were focused on winning: Campbell only needed one more touchdown, and Walnut only needed to hold out to win the game. Each team played hard, stopping each other’s advances by blitzing, blocking and deflecting passes. Unable to get past Walnut’s defense, the Campbell Vikings were sent home as Walnut took the win.

“It was a great win, the semifinal is a place we haven’t been since 2004, but the kids earned their [win] tonight. They gutted through it [and] it was a lot of grit,” Head Coach Eric Peralta said, “But you know what I told the others, sometimes the wheels got to be greater than the skill.”