Last Friday, the Oswego Panthers dominated the field in a high-intensity game against the Oswego East Wolves, winning with a final score of 38-14.

The annual Crosstown football game is the source of a long-running rivalry between Oswego and Oswego East High School—18 long years, in fact. For 16 of those years, Oswego High School had been the undefeated champion of the Crosstown Classic.

Until last year, when the Wolves fought back and took the trophy from Oswego in a 14-7 victory. Previously, Coach Brian Cooney had stated that this was because the Wolves had trained a little harder than Oswego during the COVID season.

Fast forward to 2021. The Panthers are up against the Wolves yet again for a match to make history. Everyone is on the edge of their seats; who will take home the trophy tonight? 

Deakon Tonielli, Max Castle, Nolan Muellner, Lucas Alegria, Achilles Obert, and Vincent Anderson in the line of scrimmage.
Deakon Tonielli, Max Castle, Nolan Muellner, Lucas Alegria, Achilles Obert, and Vincent Anderson in the line of scrimmage. Credit: Kira Farooqui, 42Fifty

The game started out in favor of the Panthers, with a score of 6-0. Deakon Tonelli (2023) scored on first down in the second quarter, but the Wolves snapped back by scoring a touchdown of their own, putting the score at 14-7.

In the third quarter, the Panthers scored yet again, leaving the Wolves in the dust with a score of 31-14, then runningback Mark Melton (2022) pushed the score even higher for the Panthers by scoring a signature touchdown. 

Senior running back Mark Melton catches the ball after a play
Senior running back Mark Melton catches the ball after a play. Credit: Kira Farooqui, 42Fifty

“The kids came out ready. They had that look in their eye before the game started,” Brian Cooney, head coach of Oswego Football, said. It was clear to see everyone else in the crowd had the same mentality.

Junior wide reciver Deakon Tonielli looks to the line of scrimmage
Junior wide reciver Deakon Tonielli looks to the line of scrimmage. Credit: Kira Farooqui, 42Fifty

Even so, this year’s Crosstown Classic wasn’t all fun and games. At the end, there were some bittersweet moments amongst the seniors, who have participated in this annual tradition since they were freshmen.

“It’s upsetting,” Melton said. “But we got the win. That’s what we were focused on: getting our trophy back and being 1 and 0.”

Senior Cris Cosmas stands determined in the line of scrimmage before the play begins.
Senior Cris Cosmas stands determined in the line of scrimmage before the play begins. Credit: Kira Farooqui, 42Fifty

It’s clear to see that the Wolves’ win last season heavily affected the Panthers. Both Cooney and Melton emphasized their intense pre-season training. “Last season was a fluke. No more of that. We gotta dominate,” Melton said. 

At the end of the game, the Panthers got to reclaim the trophy and hold it high above their heads in celebration of their victory title. 

Homecoming game, Crosstown Classic down. Next up: playoffs.

The next playoff game will be on Saturday at 1 p.m.; location and opposing team are to be determined.

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