Fremont can’t stop undefeated Mack in Silver Bowl

Fremont can't stop undefeated Mack in Silver Bowl

Benjamin Schmookler

The Fremont Tigers came into the Silver Bowl on a two-game winning streak, including a 35-18 win over the Skyline Titans in the first round of the playoffs.

But the undefeated Warriors of McClymonds were too much for the Tigers to continue that winning streak and defend their Silver Bowl championship at Laney College on Nov. 26.

Though the Tigers lost 42-26, they put up a fight and were ahead of the Warriors midway through the second quarter.

“I felt very confident, feeling that we were going to win,” said Tigers linebacker/running back Bishope Apodaca.

The game started off with the Warriors declining the ball and kicking it off to the Tigers. On the opening drive, however, Tigers quarterback Dionicio Espinoza threw an interception and shifted the momentum the Warriors way. And the Warriors scored.

Then Espinoza threw a threw a 33-yard touchdown pass to Sione Moli, and followed it up with a 32-yard touchdown pass to Calvin Fritz, who carried a defender five yards before breaking loose on his way to the end zone.

The two scores helped the Tigers to a 14-12 lead midway through the second quarter.

Mack ended up taking back the lead 18-14 with 1:46 left in the second quarter on a 1-yard touchdown run by quarterback Eddie Heard.

On the first drive after halftime, Mack scored a touchdown and two-point conversion, making it 26-14. They scored again to bring it to 34-14 with a touchdown by Denzale Johnson and another two points.

But Fremont didn’t back down. Jordan Sanford, the East Bay’s leading rusher in the regular season, scored on a 26-yard run with 9:12 left in the fourth. The Tigers struck again with 3:05 remaining when quarterback Dionicio Espinoza hit Sione Moli on a 31-yard touchdown pass to make it 34-26.

Mack recovered the ensuing onside kick, and on its first play, Marcus Peters took an end around 51 yards.

With a two-point conversion, the score stuck at 42-26.

Despite losing the game, the Tigers still have hope for the future.

“I feel the season was good and we have a young team, so we have a lot of experience for next year,” said Majerle Taugarau linebacker/fullback for the Tigers.

Though it had a 12-0 season, McClymonds learned on Sunday that it had been overlooked by the California Interscholastic Federation to play in the State Bowl.

This story includes some play-by-play reporting from the Oakland Tribune.