BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) –Independence is looking to win its first ever football state championship and take on San Marin High School on Saturday.
The heights the Falcons have reached this season seem higher because of the hole they’ve dug themselves out of.
Independence will be underdogs in Saturday’s CIF D5-AA title game, as San Marin has gone 13-1 this season, but the Falcons know how to surprise everyone.
Starting this season 0-6, some may have thought if they would win a game, let alone make it to a state title game.
“During that little thing of doubt we had, a lot of us didn’t think we were going to make playoffs, to be totally honest,” senior wide receiver Jonathan Vigil said.
But something changed. What changed exactly? It depends who you ask. Senior running back and receiver Anthony Rico credits their head coach.
“He told us to just persevere, and once that train started going, that we were going to go, and nobody could stop us,” he said.
Their streak started in October with a win against Tehachapi, and led up to critical point in last week’s Southern California Regional Championship game. As Venice marched down the field nearing a score, Independence’s defense came through with an interception with nine seconds left.
It was another act of resilience from a team that has redefined the word.