SACRAMENTO—The Pittsburg High Pirates had the opportunity of winning its first state football championship in school history, but they blew a 21-point halftime lead.
Pittsburg lead 21-0 midway through the second quarter. The Pirates felt pumped and excited as they were in good position. But by the end of the night, they were disappointed with tears running down many of the players faces as they had to witness the Narbonne Gauchos, of Harbor City in Southern California, hold the CIF 1-A State title trophy high in the air after 28-21 loss against Narbonne.
“I’m disappointed for our fans and I’m disappointed for our kids,” Head Coach Victor Galli said. “We had a 21-point lead and with our defense we’re not supposed to lose.”
The game was won on a 70-yard touchdown return by Logan Taylor, off a botched field goal attempt by Pittsburg’s Miguel Romo, making it 28-21.
The game was tied earlier in the fourth quarter when Jalen Chatham hit Aaron McGee for a seven-yard touchdown pass.
With less than minute late in the clock, Pittsburg looked to be in business for a comeback, but were quickly shut down as junior Willie Harts III threw an interception straight into the hands of Demonti Peoples.
Pittsburg started off the game strong. Junior Willie Harts was by far the Pirates star player this ahem, and he made his presence felt at Hornet Stadium as he intercepted a pass in the first drive of the game.
It resulted in setting Pittsburg scoring first in a drive that ended with Darrion Bartley slamming in home for a one-yard touchdown run.
Pittsburg added another touchdown, Harts was involved in It as well. Harts received a 21-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Justin Boyd.
The Boyd to Harts connection struck again in second quarter for another touchdown, but that was the last time the Pittsburg offense got to sniff the end zone.
With the wind hitting hard, Harts was only able to punt the ball one yard. Narbonne took advantage of it, and after a few player Jermar Jackson found the end zone on a four-yard touchdown.
A field goal in the second quarter by Edgar Ramos had Narbonne going 21-10 into halftime.
A tough loss indeed, but many people stated this was going to be a rebuilding year for Pittsburg.
Instead, they won the Bay Valley Athletic League title in undefeated fashion, while also qualifying for state championship for the first time ever
“I would have loved to really prove them wrong with a win,” Galli said. “We’re going back to the drawing board as coaches and work hard for next season.”
Pittsburg has graduated top players like A’Jae Boyd, Timorese Finau, Michael Pryor and Justin Sanders, but they return a lot of young talent.
Justin Boyd returns for his senior campaign, and will battle it out for the starting position against Trey Turner who went down with an ACL injury earlier in the year.
Defensively, Linebacker Jack Lacy III and four staff recruit Jacob Bandes will continue to be forces for the Pirates.
“A lot of rookies from this year will look back at this year and say they could do it better,” Bandes said. “I’m going to lead those rookies next year, so we can do better.”