CIF Football Game Results in Bulldog Loss After Strong 7-3 Season Standing


Nate Taylor

Running back and linebacker and senior Nova Kebelli tries to loosen the grasp of the opposing teammate as he tries to be in an open position to receive plays. Coming back to a more typical season after an unconventional year, head football coach Peter Abe gave advice for future seasons. “You should come out here and enjoy all the benefits high school athletics can provide for you,” Abe said. “And because of that and great high school programs, you are also going to become a better person in the process. So live it up, enjoy all of that. Your only job is to be a good person, be a good student and have a whole lot of fun while you’re still a minor.”

The Bulldogs (7-3) lost 21-42 against Colony High in the stadium, ending their season on Nov. 5. The match was their first CIF round, which they had qualified for as a wild card team.

While 215 teams qualify for the playoffs, Portola was ranked 140 out of all the schools in the southern section, according to head football coach Peter Abe. 

“Fortunately, we were still ranked,” Abe said. “So our standing, even though we didn’t have that first place finish like we did years past, still was strong enough, deserving enough, to earn an at-large bid. So we got a call Sunday morning, ‘You guys got another week,’ and we were just thankful to keep going and look forward to a good game on Friday night.”

Both teams maintained aggressive defensive and offensive plays, creating a rapid pace for the first quarter as they quickly alternated ball possession and ended the quarter 0-0.

In second quarter, the Bulldogs took the lead with a successful 15-yard pass connecting to a touchdown, as wide receiver and senior Samuel Sandoval caught the pass, at the end zone, thrown by wide receiver, defensive back and junior Dean Berger. With about seven minutes left and a successful point after touchdown, the Bulldogs secured a score of 7-0.

“I got really excited because I knew that we had a chance to beat this team, but at first there was a lot of intimidation with their size and athleticism, but getting that first score kind of showed that we were on an equal level with them,” linebacker and senior Adam Khan said.

With two minutes left, the Titans came back with a touchdown and a PAT, ending second quarter with a tie.

“The coaches told us that we had to execute our plan and make sure that we were disciplined and did everything that we could do, but at the end of the day, make sure to have fun and play because it could be our last time playing with our teammates,” wide receiver and senior Jason Vo said

In third quarter, the Bulldogs advanced their downs after a successful long pass from quarterback and senior Sonny Tierney to an eventual touchdown by running back, linebacker and senior Nova Kebeli, once again taking the lead 14-7. However, the Titans caught up to the Bulldogs after only two minutes and took the lead with less than a minute left, ending the third quarter 14-21.  

The Titans scored a touchdown a minute into the fourth quarter. While Kebeli followed with a touchdown minutes later to secure a score of 21-28, Colony High scored two additional touchdowns after the Bulldogs’ advances for the game to end 21-42. 

“I think they had a fantastic season, and as is the game of life, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but how you conduct yourself is the most important, so just being more proud of the growth that these guys have shown,” Abe said. “Just being able to give those guys a hug at the end of the whole deal, and just letting them know, ‘Hey we’re proud of that effort’ and looking forward to all those successes they have to come in their future lives.”