Down by 21 points twice in the Division 7 playoff game Friday night, junior quarterback Walker Eget of West Ranch looked up into the filled bleachers and felt additional motivation.
In the wake of Thursday’s shooting at Saugus High, students from around the Santa Clarita Valley came together at West Ranch to support each other. They hugged, they shook hands, they cheered for West Ranch. Members of the Saugus football team were there too. Everyone was trying to fulfill the #SaugusStrong spirt.
“On the last few drives, it was, ‘Do it for the people,’ ” Eget said.
Eget finished with seven touchdown passes to help West Ranch pull out a 57-56 win over Long Beach Wilson to advance to the Southern Section Division 7 semifinals.
Unbelievable! Walker Eget can’t be stopped! Drops the dime for his 7th TD pass 2 pt conversion IS GOOD! Wildcats have their first lead of the game with 1:36 remaining and the crowd is chanting “SCV! SCV! SCV!”— KHTS Sports (@KHTSSports) November 16, 2019
West Ranch 57@WestRanchFB pic.twitter.com/vGPLb3oF78
“It was surreal,” West Ranch coach Chris Varner said. “I was exhausted from the emotions of everything.”
Two students were killed and three wounded in Thursday’s shooting. No classes were held Friday at any of the high schools in the Hart Unified School District. The football game gave an opportunity for the community to come together and offer emotional support to those who needed a positive experience.
“Going to a football game can’t help what happened, but we’re trying to lighten up the mood and say prayers to the community,” Eget said. “Our idea was Saugus Strong. Saugus needed this.”
It was the first time Eget has passed for seven touchdowns since a game earlier this season — against Saugus. This time, Saugus fans and all fans in the Santa Clarita Valley were rooting for Eget.