For the past two years, the Wildcats have fallen in the first round of the Central Coast Section (CCS) playoffs. However, the 2023 Los Gatos High School Varsity Football Team prevailed and “broke the curse.” On Nov. 10, the Wildcats defeated Archbishop Riordan 28-14, continuing their win streak of six straight games. In reference to their win, head coach Mark Krail told the Mercury News, “It feels great, we had two excruciating losses the last two years, it’s not just public-private, which seems to be the theme these days. It’s great our guys get to feel this way because they work so hard.”
On Nov. 10, Los Gatos hosted the quarterfinals match up with a whiteout-themed student section. The students did not disappoint, with the largest turnout seen this season. The first half ended 14-14, but the Los Gatos defense held Riordan to a scoreless second half. To the Mercury News, junior Henry Masters commented on their success, saying, “I think we just kept their offense in front of us, our defense is so fast and everyone hustles to the ball. I didn’t think they could drive the ball on us if we kept them in front of us.”
While the defense held off Riordan, the offense continued to rack up points. Overall, Los Gatos’ attack was strong, with a total of 212 rushing yards, 168 of those yards completed over 26 carries by senior Boxer Kopcsak-Yeung. Senior quarterback AJ Minyard completed 11 of 19 passes for 232 yards. Senior Jaylen Thomas caught four passes over 120 yards. Junior Owen Panu contributed five receptions for 86 yards.
Los Gatos, the No. 4 seed, advanced to the CCS Open/Division I semifinals to play the No. 3 seed, Saint Ignatius College Preparatory, on Friday, Nov. 17 at Saint Ignatius.
The Wildcats secured their seed in the playoffs with a comfortable 30-6 win over Menlo Atherton on Nov. 3. Los Gatos finished their regular season with a 5-0 record in league play, 8-2 overall. In a preview to their quarterfinal dominance, the Los Gatos defense prospered against Menlo Atherton. Senior Lyndon Bailey had a sack, Masters contributed double-digit tackles, and senior Theo Greenland forced a fumble, holding Menlo to 6 points the entire game.
Offensively, the Wildcats did not hold back. Kopcsak-Yeung rushed for 152 yards and three touchdowns, reaching 1,000 yards this season. Scoring on a trick play, Minyard threw the ball backward to Thomas, who lobbed a 76-yard touchdown pass to senior Scott Garwood.
In addition to securing a high seed for the playoffs, the Wildcats had their Senior Night game. Alongside their families, seniors from the cheer team, dance team, and football team walked down the 50-yard line, symbolizing the ending of their high school careers. All three teams performed admirably, concluding on a good note.