As his players and the crowd chanted his name during a steady rain, Poly coach Augie Waibel kissed the trophy awarded to the winner of the annual City-Poly game and raised it above his head.
The Engineers had just beaten City, 31-14, in the 107th meeting between the teams yesterday at Poly's Lumsden-Scott Stadium.
At that moment, it didn't matter that neither team had a winning record nor was in contention for a state playoff berth.
For Waibel, the intense rivalry between the two teams rendered their records insignificant.
"Both teams were kind of down this year, but it's a great series," Waibel said. "These kids will remember this game the rest of their lives."
Poly (4-6) has won the last three meetings with City (4-6) and leads the overall series, 53-48-6.
Dustin Jones threw two touchdown passes as the Engineers scored 24 unanswered points in the third quarter to rally from a 14-7 halftime deficit.
Poly's defense -- led by linebackers Dwimoh Palmer and Michael Brown, defensive ends Dennis Waters and Eric Anderson and defensive backs Earl Gilliam and Dujuan Wilson -- limited the Knights to just 16 yards of total offense in the second half.
City running back Damian Beane rushed for 98 of the Knights' 160 yards of total offense.
"This is the best our defense has played, as far as tackling is concerned, all year long," Waibel said. "We also had great pursuit."
Poly seized the momentum when Waters recovered a botched City punt at the Knights' 5-yard-line and returned it for a touchdown with 8:04 remaining in the third quarter.
Waters had retrieved the ball after the snap sailed over the head of Marcus Cornish, City's 6-foot-3 punter.
"That was the turning point. We never recovered after that," City coach George Petrides said. "We just had a total second-half collapse."
The Engineers went on to score two more touchdowns in the quarter on drives that began at City's 31 and 22, respectively.