"Keeping Lugo Connected"

Varsity Football’s miracle comeback

November 8, 2019


Saslaya Baca

Don Lugo football captains during coin toss before game. “It was just a strong effort from us out there.” -Coach Gano

Through the rough and disappointing start of Don Lugo’s football season packed with injuries, suspensions, and lack of energy, the Conquistadors have finally regained their footing and have proved everyone wrong as they have taken home 3 much-needed victories for their shot at the CIF playoffs. With the past behind them and the countless amount of losses Lugo has faced, the Conquistadors aren’t done with the year as they continue to push themselves in the bracket of the CIF playoffs.

Going back to when the winning steak initially started, Lugo had a rough start for the beginning of league as they took two losses in a row to Ontario High and Chaffey High. However, this talented football team suddenly flipped the switch and turned their doubtful season around in a matter of 48 minutes as they beat Montclair High in a blowout victory of 36-12 giving the Conquistadors their 1st win of league and their 2nd win overall. This blowout victory would soon change the momentum and energy of the hopeful football team.

After the highly-needed win against Montclair, Lugo would then face off against their rivals, Chino High, for the annual Milkcan game. The game was held at Lugo and was hyped up throughout the week, making the need for a victory even stronger. As Lugo hoisted the Milkcan trophy after a nail-biting 15-14 win, their record would then improve to an average 2-2 in league, which would lead them to their final game of the league season.

Running Back Garcia getting ready to take a snap. “All I could see was the end zone.” -Gary Garcia

The last game of the season was a dramatic one, as Lugo needed to maintain a record of 3-2 to have a chance to advance the team to CIF. They faced off with Diamond Bar High, and the game was a back-and-forth competition, as each team knew what was on the line. The game came down to a field goal by the freshman female kicker, Mackenzie Aguilera, who nailed the kick to bring the game to a close at 16-13.

I couldn’t have done it without my brothers (team), cause they set me up for the kick.”

— Mackenzie Aguilera

Momentum and energy both played key roles when Lugo began their winning streak as they were told these last three games were “must-wins”. After having an interview with the Lugo football players, they spoke about how the energy and momentum to the team has changed ever since enduring those two hurtful losses in league. Star running back and safety JoJo Galindo emphasized, “I think the energy has changed as a team, it just has only gotten better.”

Lugo football team running through banner to begin game against Chino High. “The energy is wild, the fans are going to play a big factor in this game.” -Mackenzie Aguilera

Those back-to-back-to-back wins from Lugo to give them a solid 3-2 league record, and increased their chances of making CIF playoffs, as they were now tied with 2 other teams to see who would advance or not. The downtime from the win against Diamond Bar to the decision from the coin flip caused anxiety among the players. However, to defensive captain Branden Garcia, he stated, “I knew we were going to make it– we just worked too hard this season for it to be decided by a coin.” Surely enough, Branden was right, as they got the news last Sunday that the Conquistadors were in the playoffs.

Although the celebration that Lugo made it to the playoffs for the 6th time in a row was a huge success and a massive turnaround for the lively team, their job isn’t finished as Lugo will be facing off against Burbank High who have quite a history.

Lugo hopes the addition of Johnnie Valdez who was absent due to injury in the 3-game winning streak will create more opportunities for their offense in hopes of advancing to the 2nd round of the CIF playoffs.

I just told him you gotta step up and lead the team, because every team needs a quarterback.”

— Johnnie Valdez (On tips and advice he gave to JT Cortinas)

Before the outcome of the 1st round of the playoffs between Don Lugo and Burbank, it is safe to say Lugo football has had an insane comeback of a season. From everything going wrong, to a major shift in performance from this talented football team, Lugo strives on progressing through CIF in hopes of making it to their Holy Grail.


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