The Galileo Lions made history by winning their first football Northern California title in the California 6A Championship Game vs. the host team Rio Vista, 20-14. During the game the Lions had to play in extremely cold conditions, including instances where the temperature dipped below 50 degrees, but fueled by their heart and determination, they made it through and advanced to play in the state championship game.
The Lions may have had to thaw out in the first quarter, as Rio Vista hit the ground running with an early 8-0 lead. However the Lions got the points right back on a touchdown score by Sophomore RB Yarvell Smith, who caught a 13 yard pass from Senior QB Adrian Poot.
The Lions gave the lead right back in the second quarter, and it looked like they would be down at halftime, until the finals moments, when Senior linebacker Jackie Guo made a clutch play and picked off an interception from Rio Vista and returned it for 2 yards, which tied the score at halftime 14-14.
The third quarter was another draw as neither team could score. Rio Vista had opportunities, due to Galileo penalties, but the Galileo defense was too tough. In the final moments of the third quarter, AAA defensive player of the year, Jimmy Edwards, showed why he deserved the award as he stripped the ball from the Rio Vista quarterback, setting up Galileo for the go ahead score.
In the fourth quarter Yarvell Smith would rush the ball in from 8 yards out giving the Lions their first lead, 20-14. With a tired Rio Vista team making defensive and offensive mistakes, Galileo ran out the last minutes of the game for the win.
The Galileo Lions now have a chance to make San Francisco history as the first city team to ever win a state championship. On Friday December 15th, they will be making a long 9 hour drive down to Calexico to face off against Vincent Memorial on Saturday, December 16th.
Photo by R. Schnitzer