For the first time in more than 20 years, beat in a football game.
The Indians stormed their home field on Friday night prepared to turn around generation of losing to their cross-town rivals Wayne Hills.
And they did just that by winning 23-17. The Indians are now 2-6 all-time vs. Hills.
The night seemed to be theirs from the first whistle. The Indians scored early and often as they built up a 13-0 lead after the first quarter. The Indians scored all their points in the first half.
From there, it was up to the defense to hold off a Hills team that was playing the first of several games without quarterback Kevin Olsen. Olsen is expected to miss six to eight weeks with a broken bone in his foot.
Hills made a game of it late, scoring a touchdown with three minutes to go in the fourth quarter and cut the lead to six. But it wasn’t enough.
Fans created a sea of blue when they stormed the field when the game ended.
But for some, this game was more than just about football. Security was beefed up for the game due alleged tensions after a Wayne Valley student reportedly earlier in the week.
For most people there though, that didn’t seem to matter. Hills supporters wore shirts touting the team’s slew of eight state championships. Valley supporters painted themselves blue.
It was standing room only as bleachers on both sides of the field were filled. Hundreds of people stood around the fence that circles the field. Homemade posters and signs provided an extra dimension of support for the now 2-0 Indians. Hills dropped to 1-1.
“This was everything you wanted in a high school football game,” said Lori Stevens, a Hills fan. “We just wanted to come out and have a good time and cheer the kids on. Everything else doesn’t matter.”
Some fans said that too much is made of the rivalry between the two schools.
“I never understood that. People think that just because kids go to different high schools that means they don’t like each other,” said Randy Mish.
Valley coach Brian O’Connor praised his team’s effort after the game but warned the boys not to get ahead of themselves.
“The secret is out and now we’ve got a bulls eye on our backs,” O’Connor said.
O’Connor said the game ball would be cut up and a piece given to each Valley player.