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Published December 7th, 2022
Successful football seasons end just short of state tournaments
Quarterback Luke Duncan Photo Scott Barmmer

At the conclusion of the regular football season, the Lamorinda football teams had a combined record of 25 and 5: Campolindo 10-0, Acalanes 9-1 and Miramonte 6-4, with Acalanes' only loss coming against Campolindo and two of Miramonte's losses coming against Campolindo and Acalanes. Each team was seeded second in the North Coast Section playoffs with Campolindo in Division II, Acalanes in Division IV, and Miramonte in Division V.
Campolindo and Miramonte made it to the North Coast Sectional finals and Acalanes made it to the semifinals. Each team came up short of advancing, which could be attributed primarily to uncharacteristic mistakes by these three excellent teams.
Last season, Miramonte made it to the NCS semifinals and head coach Jack Schram pointed to making it to the championship game this year. After defeating Sonoma Valley and Analy by a combined score of 89-14, Miramonte lost to San Marin 42-28, finishing the season with an 8-5 record.
Despite the loss, Schram was quite pleased with the team's play this year. "It was a great season, and I'm glad that we got back to the championship game, but it was disappointing that we dug such a big hole in the first half against San Marin," Schram said.
With five interceptions, two that were returned for touchdowns and one on a 2nd and goal play on their first drive along with a lost fumble, the Matadors were down 35-7 at the half before outscoring San Marin 21-7 in the second half.
"I told the team that I thought we were the best team in Division V since day one and I still think we are, but we just got in a place where it was hard to recover," Schram said. "Those things sting but you have to be able to overcome those mistakes."
Schram is already looking ahead to next season, despite graduating a number of very productive seniors. Schram will miss quarterback Luke Duncan who threw 42 touchdown passes this year, running backs Bennett Destino (663 yards) and Thomas Wilson (388 yards), and receivers John Williams (53-524), Cooper Bohlig (39-1102) and Jimmy Foster (33-362).
While celebrating this year's team but also looking to the future, Schram said, "We've got the program back up where we want to be," Schram said. "Our juniors helped us to get as far as we got and we're looking for help also from our JV team that was 5-1 this past season."
Finishing the season with a 10-2 record, coach Floyd Burnsed felt there was a lot to celebrate about the season. "I thought we had a great season and the kids played really well," Burnsed said. "We lost to two good teams by three points each."
A number of mistakes by Acalanes led directly to the loss against Cardinal Newman, in the NCS semifinal by a score of 17-14. With five turnovers, one of which was an interception that was returned for a touchdown, the Dons fell behind 14-0 but battled back to tie the game at 14 in the fourth quarter. A missed field goal by Acalanes and then a turnover in their own territory, set up a final winning field goal for Cardinal Newman.
Coming into the season, Acalanes did not have a quarterback with any varsity experience, but juniors Sully Bailey (105/189/16 TD's/6 ints) and Jake Boselli (85/137/13 TD's/6 ints) successfully stepped into the position and led an offense that averaged 35.2 points per game. "They were both talented and it was such a step up from JV where they did not throw the ball very often and they both did a great job," Burnsed said.
Acalanes had graduated a number of players in 2021 and Burnsed was not sure what type of season this was going to be but he saw constant improvement with each game. "We didn't know what we had from the start but players on defense like (seniors) George Churchill (74 tackles, 6.5 TFL) and Nate Bennett (44 tackles,10.5 TFL) and (junior) Jack Giorgianni (94 tackles 4.5 TFL) had great seasons and a number of other seniors really stepped up," Burnsed said. "The class came together and really played for each other and that's when you're usually successful."
Even with running back Ellis Burger (158/779/17 TDs) graduating, there's still a lot of talent returning on offense. WR's Trevor Rogers (58/1120/15 TDs) and Paul Kuhner (33/441/1 TD) center Henry Hagel will be key players on next year's team.
With only four starters returning from last year's NCS champion team, coach Kevin Macy was cautiously optimistic about the team's chances coming into the season. Questions were soon answered by an offense that averaged 37.6 points a game, led by the passing combination of quarterback Dashiell Weaver (204/297/32 TD's) and wide receivers Robbie Mascheroni (66/1196/18 TD's), Scott Lyon (46/457) and Tim Daugherty (33/567) along with 16 different running backs led by Brendan Comerford (84/517/7 TDs) and Lucas Concepcion (93/366/6 TDs).
After a memorable win over Rancho Cotati by a score of 42-41, in a game that came down to the last play, Campolindo had a rematch with San Ramon Valley, a team that they had defeated in the NCS championship game last year.
Macy was not pleased with Campolindo being elevated into Division II for the playoffs. Still, it was a game that proved very competitive but, in the end, as with Acalanes and Miramonte, it was mistakes that led to San Ramon Valley coming out ahead 35-21.
With the score 14-14 late in the second quarter, a defensive breakdown led to an SRV touchdown. Then, on the opening drive of the second half, SRV returned a Weaver interception for a touchdown. Another interception on the SRV 3-yard line going in and a final interception with four minutes to go, closed out the game.
"Competitive equity shoves us in the corners, and it came back to haunt our kids," Macy said. "They played their hearts out and we just came up a little bit short. We were just outmanned and they deserved a lot more. We had to play a perfect game, but we had more turnovers than we had all year."
Macy drew a military analogy to the game while acknowledging the careers of his seniors: "An army should not advance beyond its supply lines, or they will get cut off," Macy said. "That's what it felt like tonight. We lost a number of our seniors to other sports due to the COVID virus but what they did the last two years was incredible and historic."
Senior Robby Horst left the field with his head held high. "No one expected us to be 12-0 and to make it to this game," Horst said. "We're all really proud about what we accomplished this season."
Mascheroni shared his feelings as his career concluded. "It was great to be coached by Coach Macy and to play with such a great bunch of guys," Mascheroni said. "I learned that you're going to have some setbacks, but you keep pushing and pushing and everything will pan out. What happens, happens and it's all for a reason."

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