by Aaron Jaffe ’21
On Friday, November 15, the Warriors went into the 4A regional championship game against Paint Branch and couldn’t come out with a win, falling to the Panthers 21-14.
The highly anticipated rematch between the Warriors and the Panthers started out fairly one-sided. Early on, the Sherwood offense couldn’t find any room on the ground, and the air game was again just as non-existent as it was the first time these two teams faced each other in a 28-17 loss to the Panthers on October 25. On the other side, Paint Branch wasted no time getting to work. After scoring on their opening possession, the Panthers cushioned their lead to 14-0 before the first quarter ended.
The game was looking already looking bleak into the second quarter, and then junior quarterback Sean Yamada went down with a head injury and did not return. When senior Till Pirtle took over, the season felt like it would be coming to a close, but instead Pirtle was the needed spark for the Warriors. The senior quarterback didn’t miss a beat, jump starting the air attack. Pirtle threw a beautiful ball caught by junior wideout Jalen Clyatt in the corner of the end zone to cut the lead in half midway through the second quarter. The same duo wasn’t done, as Pirtle hit Clyatt again, this time on a short crossing route and Clyatt fell into the end zone, tying it up at 14-14.
The second half was a defensive battle. Both teams did enough to slow each other’s run game, keeping the score knotted at a 14-14 tie going into the final quarter. The Panthers finally broke through, making it 21-14, pushing Sherwood against the ropes once again. This time however, Pirtle and the offense couldn’t force overtime, and watched their season come to an end.