Mission Bears Tasting Turkey Bowl Victory
The last two Thanksgivings placed me out of town eating meals cooked by a five-star chef. Ever seen hot juices dribble down the slopes of a Prime Rib Roast as it's being sliced? Or Chicken Marsala smothered in a mouth watering mushroom gravy? It's christmas to any appetite I tell you.
With all the good foods topped off with delicious desserts, I still found time to check the results of the Turkey Bowl game online, and boy was I surprised that the Mission Bears pulled off the upset. A team that had to cancel their season two years ago because there weren't enough academically eligible players now sits atop the city sports landscape as a champion. That takes not only great coaching but commitment and mentorship. Coach Joe Albano and his staff deserve championship praise for turning around the Mission program.
The timely play that vaulted the Bears to the league pinnacle was a double reverse that ended with Bears Antoine Porter kneeling in the endzone with 5:48 left in the game. It was what sounds like a fascinating play that finally rewarded the Bears stellar defense, which had caused four Eagles turnovers on the day (two interceptions and two fumbles). Washington's offense did not score in the game.
Boy what I wouldn't have given to witness that play live at Kezar, celebrating with Bears fans. But then again, I've got memories of attacking that prime rib like it was a goal line. I saw where I had to get to and nothing would stop me from crossing the table to reach my juicy reward. Touchdown!
Maybe next year I'll make it out to Kezar for the 2012 Turkey Bowl game, especially if Mission High begins making up for lost time and finds itself in back-to-back championship games. And maybe they'll also replace the bear paw on their helmets with a Bear Slash for beware. Whatever their fate, the Mission High football program plans for the future will have to be put on hold. For Today, head coach Joe Albano and the proud players he helped believe in themselves both on the field and off, are San Francisco Academic Athletic Association champions. Well done coach!
Antoine Porter giving thanks after scoring the game-winner in the fourth.