By: Spencer Stueve
For John Muir High School and Pasadena High School, no football game matters more than the Turkey Tussle. The matchup between the two Pasadena High Schools is unlike any other. The two are rivals, and they are playing for much more than pride.
The Turkey Tussle was originally not even a matchup between the two high schools, but a tradition was born. In the original Turkey Tussle in 1947, Pasadena City College and John Muir Junior College played for bragging rights. In ’54, the Turkey Tussle pit the two rivaling high schools for the first time.
The two teams play for a unique trophy. Just as UCLA and USC do in football, the winner of the Muir/Pasadena game plays for the Victory Bell. In 1955, the Santa Fe Railroad presented the bell as a gift to the winning team. It has been a tradition ever since.
Last week, the game was played at the Rose Bowl, and for much of the way, it was close. After scoring a touchdown to bring the score to 26-21 with four minutes to play, Pasadena went for two, but the attempt failed. Down five, PHS needed the ball back and a touchdown to win, but Muir’s offense was too strong. The Mustangs added a late touchdown and won the 71st Turkey Tussle by a score of 33-21. The Victory Bell would head home to Muir High School, where it will spend an entire year.
Muir Quarterback Bryan Love, a first year starter, and Running Back Jonathan Stephens, led the way for the Mustang offense, and the defense did enough to slow the Bulldog attack. For Pasadena High School, the loss to Muir is another in a long season. The Bulldogs finished with just a 2-8 record. Head Coach DeJuan Shamburger and his returning Varsity players will look to bounce back in 2018, and will certainly have their sights on the Victory Bell during the long offseason.