Two Rivals, Two Teams, One Goal, One Bell! A matchup between Terra Linda High School and San Rafael High School, and a tradition that dates back to 1962. These are the things that make the Bell game special, particularly with this being the first game on the new turf. Two years ago, the Bell game was played at Tamalpais High School where TL took the bell for the sixteenth time in a row with a score of 48-0. Last year, it was played at San Rafael High where TL took the bell again with a 64-25 win. However, many things have changed since then. This is Head Coach Dallas Hartwell’s first season with the Trojans after the retirement of Coach Richard Cotruvo.
With a roaring crowd with signs, balloons, ribbons, and a bleacher full of TL students and parents supporting the Trojans, the game kicked off at 3:00 in the afternoon for the field’s first game played in years. The first quarter ended with the score 0-3 TL. In the second quarter, Running back Sean Vasser caught the pass by Quarterback Julian Deraffle. On the next play, Guy Lyons snagged the pass for the two point conversion, making the score 0-14 TL. On defense, Stewert came in with the hard hits and Matt Young came with the interception to stop the SR drive. Unfortunately, on SR’s next offensive drive, they would be able to score their first touchdown. Luckily, SR’s kicker missed the field goal, making it 6-14 TL going into halftime.
Coming back on the field through the Trojan Territory banner, the Trojans were hyped by a Boom squad chant before the beginning of the second half. On offensive, Tight end Marley Elwood made a remarkable catch to earn the first down. Along with that was a great run by Running back Dylan Johnson, who got the touchdown and extended to lead 6-20. However, SR would make their touchdown (12-20 TL). Thankfully to the great defensive pressure, the two point conversion failed. On kick return, Guy Lyons, with great craftiness and athleticism, made an incredible run, helping the Trojans to get close to the end zone. Unfortunately, it was called back. Luckily to make up for the call, the Trojans would make a great offensive drive, leading Running back Michael Jiminez to a touchdown. Julian would later make the field goal, expanding the lead, 12-27. In the 4th quarter, SR would score and achieve a two point conversion, decreasing TL’s lead by seven points (20-27 TL). It’s all good though, because another great offensive drive would come along, leading to Sean Vasser’s second touchdown of the game, increasing the lead by fourteen points, 20-34 TL. SR would try their best to come up with a miracle comeback. However, Aaron Helvig would stop that from happening with an endzone interception.
The whole TL sideline was hyped knowing what they accomplished. Defensive-Line Coach Jeff Alas, who played football at his time at TL as well, couldn’t be happier. Once the clock hit zero, The Terra Linda Trojans once again holds onto the bell for the 18th straight year. The perfect way to start football games on the brand new field. With pictures, celebrations, signs, families, friends, teammates, coaches, and one big bell!
I decided to talk to Head Coach Dallas Hartwell about the victory, and he reflected on the week going into the Bell game. This was the week where the PG&E power outages were going on. “Our communication was limited, so we weren’t able to practice on Monday or Tuesday, and we didn’t have school Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday. So it was a really odd week going in….. We didn’t get film (on SR) until Sunday… We wanted to install a lot of different things (and) we really wanted to be prepared for everything SR did offensively…” Later, Coach Dallas talked about the new formations and combinations that they used that weren’t used in previous games.
All in all, the Bell Game is a proud tradition of 2 rivals going at it for victory over 50 years, generations of football players, all after that 1 bell! Our new field lays the groundwork for the next generations of Trojans.