Vikings face defeat in double overtime


In the first round of CIF, Jerry Smith, 11, makes a goal in an attempt to beat the Paso Robles Bearcats on Oct. 8, at the Downey Aquatics Center. The Vikings came up short with a score of 9-8, and didn’t advance to the second round of CIF.

Norma Flores, Sports Editor

After many hours of intense training, the boys varsity water polo team made it through to the first round of CIF against the Dos Pueblos Bearcats on Oct. 8 at the Downey Aquatics Center. The Vikings prepared for what would become one of their most nerve-wracking games of the season.

It quickly began and both teams raced for the ball. As Downey had the first possession, they made their way down the pool and set up their offense. Two minutes into the game, junior Andrew Rezk shot the first goal.  His teammates stood up on the bench and all yelled with joy. The first quarter went by with both teams taking multiple holds of the ball but not many shots were made. First quarter ended, tied 3-3.

Second quarter began, and the Bearcats took the first possession this time.  As they made their way down to defense, the Vikings made a mistake; at half pool, one of the players dragged back a Bearcat, giving, Downey an ejection. Soon they found themselves with one less field player. The bench and coaches were screaming: “Were down! Were down! Set up.”

This crucial mistake gave the opponent their first lead in the game. Coach Delhousay called his first time out in the game.

“Slow your game down, don’t get over excited focus and look in for the open set player,”  Delhousay said.

At halftime, they were tied 5-5. The team was led out to have their talk. The stands were filled with everyone supporting their fellow classmates and friends, and the crowd started a wave, chanting together.

Third quarter commenced and both teams set up on their side of the pool. When the whistle was blown, the teams went for the ball and once again the Bearcats took first possession.  Jerry Rodriguez made a shot that even left the coach astonished.  At the end of the third quarter they were tied 7-7.

At this point, everyone was on the edge of their seats. There were many attempted shots, but both goalies remained solid.  The field players were doing their part as well, Peter Ochoa, Richard Gomez, and Abraham Gomez blocked many shots, which made goalie James Morrison’s job easier. With 30 seconds left on the clock, Downey made its final attempt to put the game away, but it wasn’t good enough, and the regular game ended with both teams tied at 7-7.

“As a senior, my goal was to do my best and try to help my team be the best that we could be. I don’t regret anything about this season because we got as far as we did thanks to the dedication of each player,” Christopher Apodaca, 11, said.

The first overtime began and the teams had 3 minutes to try and win the game. The tip off was won by the Bearcats, and their counter attack proved too much for the Vikings. The opponent was up 8-7. With room for one more possession, junior David Lumbreras managed to keep Downey in the game. His shot made the game tie once again 8-8.

They finally went into double overtime, and the pressure was felt. Both teams were trying to keep their hopes alive for the second round of CIF. The Bearcats’ coach called for his last time out and that gave Downey an opportunity to take back focus. With 54 seconds left in the double overtime, the Bearcats scored the shot that would shatter the dreams of the Vikings.

“Our expectations were to try to make it to the first round of CIF, and our goal was complete. We put up a fight and made the Bearcats work for their spot in the second game of CIF,” Gomez said.

The season was a wild one for the home team. Although they lost they are proud of what they have become. They played their hearts out, and left everything in the pool, chasing a goal that at the beginning of the season seemed unreachable.