It was a tough game for Fontana players. Many of them had been fired up for Friday’s game ever since former coach Nick Matheny left his alma mater to coach at Sunkist League and city rival Summit.
Fontana was 1-7 entering the game but played Kaiser and Grand Terrace close (both eight-point losses, and the Grand Terrace game went to overtime). They were highly motivated. Perhaps to show their former coach they were OK without him. Perhaps to show he should’ve stuck around.
In a season they had already been eliminated from playoff contention, this would’ve made their season. It had all the buildup and Summit provided an early knockout punch.
But as far as I could tell, Fontana was all class. Several players came up to Matheny afterward to congratulate him. He hugged a few Fontana players and staff members. In the video above, he appreciated their class. I did not see an abundance of penalties. I had Fontana wwith four penalties, totaling 46 yards. (I had Summit with 9 for 65). There was at least one set of offsetting unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, but other than that it was class. That’s a testament to the Fontana kids, and probably coach David Crump.
Summit, actually was the one that got a trash-talking 15-yard penalty before the opening kickoff, but not Fontana. That’s not a criticism of Summit, but rather praise for Fontana for not retaliating.
The above video has Summit coach Nick Matheny talking about how tough it was to play Fontana and the Steelers’ class.