Unexpected Blackout Ends Homecoming Football Game Prematurely

By Emerson Brown, Staff Writer

// Without a flicker, the Acalanes stadium suddenly plunged into darkness during the 2019 homecoming football game on Friday, Sept. 27. Immediately, students and parents pulled out their phones and turned on their flashlights in confusion, thinking this was planned or a joke. However, it was completely unintended. The power had gone out. 

   The football team led Oakland High School by a score of 41-7 when the scoreboard, lights, and the entire school went black at around 8:54 p.m.

   “At first I thought that it was a fun homecoming thing that they had planned because people started turning their lights on and just waving them around but it was actually a blackout” sophomore Autumn Long said.

   People started waving their phone flashlights for light and to create a sense of community while the pep band trumpets played ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’. Spectators were joyful despite the underlying confusion of why this transpired. 

   Other students had less joyful thoughts. Junior Ryland Nella thought that this would be a way for violence to take place on Acalanes campus 

   “I was kind of concerned because of how some people set it up for a school shooting to happen,” Nella said. 

  Fearing for their safety, and safety of belongings was a common trend. 

   Long immediately began searching for her phone and gripped her flute after the lights went out. Pep band has the third quarter off, and a lot of students’ instruments were on the bleachers in the dark. Thousands of dollars worth of metal lying on dark bleachers worried band students, prompting musicians to carefully locate their valuable instruments. 

   The game was called off and the Dons won by the current score of 41-7. Using phones as the only light source, both teams lined up for handshakes and concluded with the unexpected result.

   After roughly 20 minutes of a power outage, the stadium lights returned to a smaller crowd because many students and spectators left during the blackout, anticipating the game ending prematurely. 

   Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) is currently investigating the incident as to why 3,000 members lost electrical power.

   Though this was an unpredictable end to the homecoming game, many students preferred the unusual ending to the planned game. 

  “We got to leave the game early and I got to go to sleep earlier,” junior cheerleader Zach Baisas said.

   The 2019 homecoming game will forever be defined by the blackout, instead of the victorious outcome. 

   “I am sad, however, this is something huge that is very memorable and I think that’s good for homecoming,” Long said.

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