It was a heavy dose of triumph and tragedy Saturday night at Salinas High Stadium.
While the Hartnell College football team was locked in a battle with rival Cabrillo that ended with a 34-26 Panther victory, the game was brought to a standstill late in the third quarter when public address announcer Jim Silveria suffered a fatal heart attack.
The game was stopped for nearly 20 minutes as paramedics brought Silveria down the narrow steps from the announcer's booth to the grandstand area on the visitor's side of the field.
Emergency personnel could be seen performing CPR while wheeling Silveria to the waiting ambulance by the player's tunnel.
The game continued after the ambulance left the field, but there was no announcement as to what was going on or the condition of Silveria.
It wasn't until after the game that it was disclosed that Silveria, 65, who announces both Hartnell football and basketball games, had died.
As for the game, an inspired second half lifted Hartnell to its first win of the year, and it couldn't have come at a better time.
It was the Coast Conference opener for both teams.
"This was a make-or-break game for us," Hartnell coach Matt Collins said.
Not only did it ease the sting of an 0-5 non-conference record, but the win came against the team many considered the favorite to win the conference crown.
Hartnell trailed 13-10 at halftime and appeared to have lost the services of runningback Ricky Rodwell in the process. He had to be assisted off the field late in the second quarter with a leg injury.
But the sophomore from Baltimore looked like he had a bionic leg replacement at halftime.
Rodwell carried for 17 yards on the first play of the second half, and 21 on the next.
It was the start of a 121-yard second half for Rodwell, who finished with a season-high 136 yards.
Quarterback Brad Smet complemented Rodwell by completing three straight passes on the opening drive of the second half, including a four-yarder to Kevin Dorsey for the touchdown that gave Hartnell the lead to stay at 17-13.
After linebacker Kiero Small stopped the ensuing Cabrillo drive with a quarterback sack, it was back to work for Rodwell. He rushed four times for 40 yards to lead Hartnell to another score — this time a 35-yard field goal by Jorge Rico.
"Like many of our guys tonight, Rickey played with passion and pain," Collins said.
Leading 20-19 at the time of the emergency in the announcer's booth, Hartnell took advantage of a poor Cabrillo punt to go 45 yards — the last seven by Smet for the touchdown that upped the lead to 27-19.
Hartnell was on the move again on its next possession. It went 80 yards on 13 plays with Rodwell scoring on a three-yard sweep to give Hartnell a 34-19 advantage with 5:20 to go in the game.
Cabrillo cut the margin to 34-26 with 2:59 left, but the Panthers were able to recover the on-side kick and run out the clock, helped by a 40-yard burst by Alvin Jelks.
Hartnell is at San Jose City for a 5 p.m. game Saturday. Next home game is Oct. 30 against West Valley.
Cabrillo 7 6 6 7 — 26
Hartnell 10 0 10 14 — 34
CAB-Johnson 27-yard pass from Alvarez (Burke kick), 9:28
HAR-Small 4-yard pass from Smet (Rico kick), 4:30
HAR-Rico 21-yard field goal, 1:42
CAB-Burke 25-yard field goal, 13:37
CAB-Burke 20-yard field goal, 10:48
HAR-Dorsey 4-yard pass from Smet (Rico kick), 13:18
HAR-Rico 35-yard field goal, 7;23
CAB-Daniels 27-yard pass from Alvarez (kick failed), 5:07
HAR-Smet 7-yard run (Rico kick), 13:18
HAR-Rodwell 3-yard run (Rico kick), 5:20
CAB-Pruger 6-yard pass from Alvarez (Burke kick), 2:59
First downs 17 23
Rushes-yards 33-126 44-300
Passing 173 154
Comp-Att-Int 19-27-0 14-22-1
Fumbles 2-2 3-2
Penalties-Yards 9-55 3-35
RUSHING-Cabrillo- Alvarez 7/41, Copeland 20/63, Christopher 4/18, Pruger 1-3, Johnson 1/1. Hartnell-Smet 6/55, Rodwell 22/136, Jelks 12/77, Miranda 2/10, Brooks 2/12
PASSING-Cabrill0- Alvarez 19/27/0 for 173 yards. Hartnell-Smet14/21/0 for 154 yards, Rodwell 0/1/1 for 0 yards.
RECEIVING-Cabrillo-Pruger 3/21, Nollenberger 3/21, Copeland 1/-6, Johnson 2/30, Olivarez 5/44, Stevenson 2/2, Daniels 3/61. Hartnell-Rodwell4/24, Griffith 1/28, Jelks 1/13, Small 1-4, Dorsey 2/9, Miranda 3/44, Snead 1/18, Brooks 1/14