TWENTYNINE PALMS — The Twentynine Palms High School varsity football team is working on a four game winning streak in Desert Valley League play this year but they are looking to keep a much longer streak alive Friday night, Nov. 1.
The Wildcats will play host to the Trojans of Yucca Valley High School at Tom Nicoll Memorial Stadium, Utah Trail and Two Mile Road, with the frosh/soph game beginning at 4 p.m. and the varsity contest following at 7.
At stake for both varsity teams is ownership of the coveted Kiwanis Club Bell.
With a 4-2 league record going into the contest, Wildcats are hoping a win over the Trojans will help them secure a place in postseason play.
Perhaps more importantly they hope to extend their current win streak in the annual Battle of the Bell game to 15.
Following another tradition, Wildcat head coach Ernest Martinez made his annual trip to the Twentynine Palms Kiwanis Club, bell in tow, Tuesday morning, Oct. 29, to talk about the game and the Wildcats’ chances.
The Wildcats, he said, have dealt with some difficult times this season, including the loss of nine starters to injuries in one game.
“The young kids have stepped up and filled those positions,” he said.
The Wildcats come to the Bell game having just beaten Cathedral City 26-20 on the road, spoiling the host team’s homecoming, Friday Oct. 25.
“We came from behind and scored in the last two minutes,” Martinez said, adding that the Wildcat defense stepped up and stopped Cathedral City from scoring at the end of the game.
“We are ready to go this week,” he said.
Yucca Valley comes into the Bell game with a league leading 6-0 mark after Desert Mirage forfeited their Thursday, Oct. 24, game because of wildland fires that forced closure of the school.
“It’s going to be a tough game for us but we expect to represent the town well,” he said. “Chris Pacheco has really stepped up well.”
He said the offensive line has progressed during the season and the defensive line has really turned things around.
“We are playing our best football,” he said. “We have 16 seniors who will be walking out for senior night.”