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Marin County Pride kick off their season with a win

Safety, Quinci Vito walks off the field exhausted during the Pride's first football game on Saturday night.
Safety, Quinci Vito walks off the field exhausted during the Pride's first football game on Saturday night.
- By Rem O'Donnelley

The Marin County Pride football team won their first game of their season on Saturday night in San Rafael.

Running back Josh Del Pino runs with the football during the Marin County Pride's season opener in San Rafael.
- By Rem O'Donnelley

The team took on the California Scorpions from Sacramento. The crowd of fans was bigger than some expected and a referee from the East Bay was impressed at what he estimated to be at least 350 people.

In the first quarter the Pride were the sole point scorers with six points made by receiver Michael Verby who caught a long pass from quarterback Harry Taylor.

In the second quarter safety Dana Mills received a pass from Taylor to make it 13-0. Near the end of the quarter the Scorpions scored eight points to 13-8.

During the third quarter it was a case of status quo and neither team was able to score off of the other. However, it was the fourth quarter when things got exciting.

Early in the last quarter the Scorpions made a touchdown and took a slight advantage with a score of 14-13. The crowd cheered on the new, Marin team and the Pride showed their defensive power with four of their defensive players. Two of their defensive players are the tallest and nicknamed the Twin Towers (Charles Griffin and Kenneth Hightower). They worked along with defensive players Kyle Scott and Josh Shelton.

It was defensive end Kyle Scott who made the last touchdown of the night bringing the final score 19–14 and sending players and the crowd wild. Taking over after the touchdown was the Pride's offense and running back Josh Del Pino was able to keep the score in the Pride's favor and run down the clock. The Pride clinched their first victory in the season at home.

Pride coach Clay Jackson was thrilled and relieved to have the win. “When the clock said zero, that was the best part,” he laughed.

It was a “fun, fun night. I'm just glad we came out with a W. We've still got some work to do. Our defense was phenomenal. They really didn't give up anything all night. I'm really happy and happy to get the first one out of the way,” Jackson said.

Defensive linebacker Kenneth Hightower said the best quarter was the fourth. “We came in and we knew what was necessary and we pulled it off. Just off that simple fact that shows that we're a winning team.”

Another defensive linebacker was Chris Anthony who thought their best work was in the second half of the game. “I think the second half was best because we turned it up quite a bit, quite a bit for the offense,” he said.

Team kicker Sam Alton was proud of their performance in the last quarter. “The strongest quarter was the fourth quarter. As a team everybody stuck together, offense, defense, special teams, coaching, everybody stuck together. It was a good team effort and everybody held together and stayed confident and positive right to the end,” Alton said.

The Marin County Pride face the NorCal Knights in San Leandro on April 5.
More information can be found at Marin County Pride football website.