SportStars Magazine

Pahulu’s POV: SCOTS “Dangerous Minds”

Photo Credits:  Liliana Hernandez

Carlmont Scots @ San Mateo Bearcats 10.6.17

George Pahulu and Albert Tuipulotu in 1997 Football Banquet

A great CCS PAL Lake matchup between the 5-0 Carlmont Scots against the 4-1 San Mateo Bearcats.  Carlmont is located in Belmont next to a Tongan Methodist church called “Fale Hufanga” as the Princess of Tonga HRH Princess PiloLevu Tuita who’s younger brother is King Siaosi VI was given the opportunity to name the church.  The school was famous in 1995 when a movie called “Dangerous Minds” featuring actress Michelle Pfeiffer was based on a true story about Carlmont HS during a time when East Palo Alto was the murder capital city in the nation and there were 4 regions that segregated each students to attend (4) public high schools in the Sequoia District:  Menlo-Atherton, Woodside, Sequoia and Carlmont.  Nowadays the yellow buses don’t come to pickup the students in EPA as it is open enrollment for a student to choose which school that will benefit them.  With the Scots being undefeated and currently building a Division 1 olympic weightroom facility on campus with 2nd yr Head Coach Jake Messina at the helm that will be ready by next football season, this will help recruit the best players in that area.

On the other side of the ball the San Mateo Bearcats have great tradition as a long line of great Tongan running backs came from this school.  They won a State Championship in the 1980s featuring running backs Peter and Tom Tuipulotu.  In the mid 1990s, I had an opportunity to play against the best running back in California at that time San Mateo’s Albert Tuipulotu as we were recipients of the 1996 San Mateo County National Football HS Hall of Fame Foundation Scholar-Athlete Award given to a RB and OL as Albert was the RB and I was the OL.  Imagine that (2) Tongans representing San Mateo County not for just football but also in the classroom.  In the 2000s, the Bearcats had Toke Kefu at running back breaking records and winning the school last CCS football championship.

The Tongan student-athletes that are under my radar for both teams are #25 George Kautai for San Mateo and #57 Kaukola Fifita who is only a sophomore but is the starting center for the Scots.  The Bearcats band is hype and I’m loving the white/grey unis for the Scots.  In the first quarter, the Scots are killing themselves with consecutive holdings.  In the backfield for the Scots is #3 Demarii Blanks who looks like a man amongst the boys at 5’11” weighing 200lbs who has an offer from Sacramento State.  The first drive for San Mateo on 4th and 3, the QB #2 Matt Angel convert the first down with a pass to WR #19 Jake Jeffries.  On the next play, it was the same play as San Mateo capitalizes with a 30 yr TD pass from Matt Angel to Jake Jeffries to have a 7-0 lead with 5:10 remaining in the first quarter.  On the next Bearcats drive, the QB Matt Angel gets hit and throws an INT to #8 Shawn Azzopardi. 

Carlmont takes advantage of the San Mateo turnover as #3 Demarii Blanks runs for 18 yards and 2 plays later scores a TD from the 1 yard line to tie the game at 7-7 with 10:56 remaining in the 2nd quarter.  For the Scots #13 Jason Lloyd who at 6’4” and 230lbs playing OLB and TE had recently committed to play Division 1 football at Air Force.  Very proud of this young man.  It has been a defensive battle as Defensive Coordinator for the Scots is Coach Tim Netane who has been coaching high school football at Aragon, Sequoia before coming to Carlmont.  The Scots QB who is 2nd string #15 Henry Reich who took over the position for #2 Timmy Palthe as broke his ankle when the team played Lincoln HS and is out for the season.  The Scots are struggling in the passing game as the #15 Henry Reich gets hit during the 2min drill and is intercepted by a Bearcat defender as it could’ve been a pick6 as he had daylight in front of him but stumbled and got tackled.  Unfortunately, the Bearcats couldn’t take advantage of the turnover so both teams headed to the locker room for halftime with a tie score 7-7. 

In the 3rd quarter, both teams defense are battling.  As the Scots start driving, #14 sophomore running back Jonaven Kuhn ran a misdirection and boy that young man got some wheels.  Then #3 Demarii Blanks had a “BeastMode” TD run for 45 yards as the Scots took the lead 14-7 with 3:44 remaining. 

In the 4th quarter Carlmont’s defense is taking the San Mateo running game away to force them to pass.  On 4th down, the Bearcats decide to go for it and QB threw a pass up for grabs and #81 Kevin Grant came down with the pass for 34 yards to keep their drive going.  On the same drive the Bearcats capitalize it as QB Jose Ontiveros throws a 13 yard TD pass to #19 Jake Jeffries to tie the game at 14-14 with 8:40 remaining in the game.  The Scots are driving.  It is 4th down and 4 at the San Mateo 12 yard line and the Scots decide to go for it rather than kick a field goal with 3min remaining.  They give it to #3 Demarii Blanks and he barely gets the first down to keep the drive going.  Bearcats have to use their timeouts to have some time left if the Scots score on this drive.  The Bearcats defense are holding up the Scots at the goalline with another 4th down coming up at the San Mateo 2 yard line.  Coach Messina decides to go for it on 4th down again as they give it to #3 Blanks.  He gets the TD as the Scots are up 21-14 with 1:36 left for San Mateo.  With time not on its side as the Bearcats are at midfield, San Mateo pulls out one of their tricks and does a halfback pass and completes it to #81 Kevin Grant.  He is all by himself and as he was about to score the TD, Scots #7 DB Ralphie Holmes comes from behind and forces a fumble before Kevin breaks the plane.  The Scots recovered the fumble, ball in the end zone for a touchback.  The Scots prevailed 21-14.  What a way to end a football game which is what I enjoy about high school football.  Carlmont Scots are 6-0 as they continue to have a historic football season for their school. 

Til next time.  Ofa Atu.  -George 

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