The scoreboard said Damien High School beat Palm Desert High School by four touchdowns Friday night, and honestly Damien was the better team in the game played at Palm Desert.
But during and after the game the feeling around the Palm Desert team was that the Aztecs had played better than a 28-point loss would indicate. And if you think about it, there is some logic to that thinking.
Two plays could have changed the game entirely, and both plays went against Palm Desert. First was a fumble by Palm Desert quarterback Joseph Castelli that was turned into a 62-yard fumble return for a touchdown by Damien and a 14-0 lead. Hold onto that ball and the game could have been at least one touchdown closer.
Then there was the Castelli pass that was tipped by a charging a relentless defensive line for Damien. Instead of a Palm Desert touchdown pass, the ball fluttered into the hands of a Damien defender at the goal line. Four plays later, Damien scored itself.
So, two plays could have been a 14-point or maybe a 21-point swing in the game.
Okay, in all Palm Desert turned the ball over too many times (two intercepton, two fumbles) and the Aztecs were no match for the speed of the Spartans.
But the score looks perhaps a little worse than the reality of the Aztecs performance. Still, Palm Desert will have to improve to play compeitively with Redland next week.