By Andrea Camarena

"It's Strathmore, We have to beat them," said Senior Erica Gonzalez from the visitor stands at Strathmore's Stadium before the big Bell game on Friday night.

That was the attitude as the Lindsay High Cardinals took the field to defend the bell in a 7:30 p.m. game. For Lindsay the intensity of their fans wasn't enough to drive them into a victory over the Strathmore Spartans. On their home turf, the Spartans reclaimed the bell with a huge 18-13 victory over the Cardinals.

A packed stadium of Cardinals, Spartans, former Cardinals and future Spartans filled the bleachers as well as the grass lining all four sides of the field early enough to catch the end of the JV game.

The Spartans took an early lead with a four yard run touchdown in the first quarter. With another 5:32 remaining, the Cardinals blocked Strathmore's point after putting the game at 6-0.

At the close of the quarter, Lindsay possessed the ball in Spartan territory with a first and 10 and 38 seconds on the clock. Strathmore's John Morrison intercepted a pass from Cardinal quarterback Abel Gambosa to carry the ball 85 yards for a touchdown at the buzzer.

With the clock out, Lindsay succeeded in holding the Spartans back from an attempted two-point conversion.

The second quarter opened with a Spartan 12-point lead and Cardinal possession. The second half proved to be a constant struggle for the Cardinal's offense. Unable to gain 10 yards, Lindsay continually returned possesion to the Spartan offense throughout the quarter.

Mid-quarter, the Cardinals saw a ray of hope as linebacker Eugene Paz intercepted a Spartan pass.

Anthony Gonzalez continued to keep the visitor's crowd cheering as the running back carried the ball into Spartan territory.

The excitement switched over to the homeside as the Spartans made their second interception of the night returning the ball to the Cardinal two-yard line.

Strathmore put the touchdown away with 4:34 left in the half. The Cardinals kept the ball in their possession for the remainder of the half but couldn't break into the endzone.

The second half of the game opened at 18-0 Strathmore. The third quarter marked Lindsay's first touchdown. Struggling for several plays to break free of the line of scrimmage, the game continued to look doomed for the Cardinals.

But a final breakthrough led to a touchdown by receiver Anthony Gonzalez. Lindsay, like their rivals, failed to pick up the extra point.

"It's 18-6. This is kind of mixed feelings for me," said first-year Strathmore High Principal Mike Henson as he watched the game in its final quarter.

"Both teams are playing well. Both teams are playing great. Both coaching staffs need to stay committed." Henson, a former Cardinal, found the game bittersweet as his current school seemed to already capture victory despite an offensive display by Lindsay.

The Cardinals made their final appearance in the endzone as Cardinal Wide Receiver Jorge Silva grabbed a 5 yard pass in the last three minutes of the game.

Three minutes wasn't enough to continue the scoring for the Cardinals and the game wrapped an 18-13 Spartan victory.

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