Bears Eat Birds: Recap of This Year’s Homecoming Game

The Berkley Bears have had a rocky start to their 2022 football season. Berkley’s varsity football team was 1-4, with their only win coming against Pontiac, who leading up to the game was 0-5. On September 30th, the Bears faced rival Royal Oak. I got the chance to interview students about their thoughts on the heavily anticipated game.
Senior Luke Winter, a key member of the Bear Pack, emphasized the importance of the rivalry, saying, “This is the game that everyone needs to show up to. If you’re not there, you’re a joke. ”
The rivalry between the two teams heated up in the weeks leading up to the game, with trash talk being exchanged on social media: Pictures and messages were flowing in from the Royal Oak student-run Instagram and Twitter accounts, referring to Berkley as their “little brother.”
How have the Bears prepared given how intense the fan rivalry has become? Senior wide receiver Eli MacDonald states, “We have made sure to have a good week of practice and have incorporated new schemes that will help us be successful against our opponents.”
These “new schemes” sure were successful, with the Bears defeating Royal Oak 30-7. The game started off slowly, with the score tied 0-0 at the end of the first quarter. Berkley scored in the second quarter on a 28-yard run by senior quarterback Max Walstad, and the half ended 7-0. The third quarter was a battle, with both teams having long drives, which ultimately ended in both teams scoring, but with Berkley missing an extra point, resulting in Royal Oak being within one touchdown of taking the lead. Then heartbreak struck Royal Oak fans as Berkley’s offense finally clicked, resulting in two touchdowns, a field goal, and an interception, all coming in the fourth quarter. Senior Eldon Pickens started the quarter off with an 8-yard run. Pickens finished the game with an impressive 143 rushing yards, averaging just above 14 yards per carry. After a quick three and out by the Royal Oak offense, the Bears drove down the field again. A combination of runs from Pickens and Walstad resulted in a 26-yard field goal by senior Hunter Robertson. Having just received the ball, once again, Royal Oak was faced with a third and long on their own fifteen-yardline. Royal Oak desperately needed a first down to keep their offense on the field. Senior Savod Daniels had other plans, intercepting the opposing quarterback’s pass and setting up the Berkley offense for an easy opportunity to score. Berkley’s offense capitalized with a 20-yard touchdown pass from Walstad to senior wide receiver Grant Clark.
The Bears got some much-needed help on the offensive side of the ball as quarterback Max Walstad and running back Eldon Pickens had outstanding games. Berkley’s offense had its best showing of the year with a staggering 549 total yards. Berkley’s defense did not disappoint either, holding the Royal Oak offense to only 160 yards, with interceptions from seniors Savod Daniels and Nolan Wesner.
With one game remaining on the schedule, the Bears have a record of 2-6. Walstad hopes to “use this as momentum” as the season nears its end. Good luck for the rest of the season and go Bears!