It didn't take long to realize that Big Bear High School was about to clinch its fourth straight Cross Valley League football title Nov. 2. The Bears (5-5, 3-0) took a 22-0 lead in the first quarter against Excelsior Charter (1-9, 0-3) and never looked back.
In that first quarter, senior slotback Paul Domingue scored three times while rushing for 119 yards on four carries. The second of the three scores came on the first play from scrimmage after the Big Bear defense stopped the Eagles on a fourth-and-11 play deep in Big Bear territory. Domingue took the handoff and quickly broke free on the right side, scampering 89 yards down the sideline for the score.
The Bears continued to dominate in the first half with three more touchdowns in the second quarter. Sophomore fullback Alberto Serrano scored on an 11-yard run up the middle. Then Domingue scored his fourth touchdown of the day when he hauled in a pass from sophomore quarterback Sammy Volpicelli for 56 yards.
By the time backup quarterback Quaid McLinn scored on a 62-yard run with less than 5 minutes remaining in the half, Big Bear's starting lineup was already taking up space on the sideline. McLinn's score made it 43-0 at the half.
The second half started on a running clock, but the Bears still managed to score twice in the third quarter. The first TD came on a 9-yard run by McLinn. The second was by third-string quarterback Leonard Martinez on a 4-yard run.
Big Bear made it 62-0 midway through the fourth quarter on a 1-yard run by sophomore Jayden Weisshart. Weisshart was one of several players brought up from the frosh-soph team for the final regular season varsity game.
With mainly frosh-soph players on defense at the end of the game, Excelsior managed to put together a long drive, scoring on a 3-yard run by Cramer Hamilton. Tennyson Tibbetts rushed for the 2-point conversion to bring the final score to 62-8 in favor of the Bears.
"We did a lot of good things today," Big Bear head coach Dave Griffiths said after the game. "The starters did their job. Sammy made a couple of early mistakes, but he got better as the day went on. The defense pulled us out of it both times. We're back to doing what we need to do to win games."
With the win, Big Bear earns a spot in the CIF Southern Section Division 10 playoffs. Pairings will be announced around noon Sunday, Nov. 3. Check www.bigbeargrizzly.net for the latest information.