Steven Reyes / Special to the Home News
Saturday, Oct. 11, 2008 | 2 a.m.
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Bells will be ringing again at Foothill in 2009.
After losing the Victory Bell to Silverado in 2007 — the first time since the bell became part of the rivalry in 2001 — the Foothill football team brought it home with a 21-17 win over the Skyhawks Friday night.
Foothill senior running back Algernon Sewell carried the load — and often most of the Silverado defense — as he rushed for 174 yards on 36 carries with two touchdowns. He was also responsible for nine Falcon first downs.
“I just did what I could. The offense opened up holes and I ran through them,” Sewell said. “We just put it on the ground and pounded it. ‘Don’t get tired’ was all I could think about. I started to cramp up, but I had to fight through it. It feels great (to have the bell back).”
Foothill coach Marty Redmond said Sewell and the rest of the Falcons (3-4 overall, 1-2 in the Southeast Division) executed the game plan perfectly and made smooth adjustments as the strong wind limited the passing game.
“The kids deserve this,” Redmond said. “They worked (hard) this week. We planned to throw more but with the wind the way it was, we put the ball in (Sewell’s) hands. We were able to move the ball and eat up the clock and find the end zone.”
Redmond also praised the performance of the Falcons defense, which held the ’Hawks to 104 yards of total offense and didn't give up a touchdown to the Silverado offense.
The Hawks scored early on a 78-yard kickoff return from senior Keenan Graham and followed that up with a 32-yard field goal from Brandon Romano. In the third quarter, junior cornerback Dariouse Gravely stripped the ball from Sewell and returned it 57 yards for the score.
The lack of offense has been a continuing problem for the ’Hawks all year, but Silverado coach Andy Ostolaza said the turnovers have become his main concern. With three fumbles against the Falcons, the ’Hawks now have committed 17 turnovers in the last four games.
“We keep committing turnovers and it has put us in a real hole,” Ostolaza said. “I’ve never had this many fumbles on exchanges before. No one’s even touching us. We’re just putting the ball on the ground. We’ve come to a wall. We’ve got to find a way to hold onto the ball.”
The loss puts the ’Hawks at 4-3 on the season and 1-3 in league play as they head into a bye week and prepare to face Green Valley in two weeks.
Gravely said the loss of the bell stings, but the prospect of missing the playoffs is much worse.
“When we won that bell last year, we won it as a family and losing it is like losing a piece of ourselves,” Gravely said. “We have to do some soul-searching right now and figure out what’s wrong. We have to find that intensity again. We have to become a family again and lift each other up.”
Jared Harmon can be reached at 990-8922 or [email protected].