PREP FOOTBALL: Nevada Union loses hard-fought bout with Del Oro (VIDEO)
Golden Eagles 42, Miners 19
NU: Hayden Fay 10-yard pass from Dawson Fay (Owen Dal Bon kick) 5:35
DO: Dawson Hurst 66-yard run (Conor Calvert kick) 5:21
DO: Brice Edwards 4-yard run (2-point conversion) 7:10
DO: Edwards 24-yard run (Calvert kick) 8:58
NU: Cameron Dallago 55-yard pass from Owen Dal Bon (2-point try no good) 11:46
DO: Edwards 19-yard run (Calvert kick) 10:27
NU: Dawson Fay 1-yard run (2-point try no good) 7:33
DO: Carson Jarratt 22-yard run (Calvert kick) 7:07
DO: Conor Kheeley 47-yard pass from Jarratt (kick no good) 2:35
The Miners led early on and battled Del Oro closely for much of the game, but in the end it was another Sierra Foothill League loss for the Nevada Union football team.
Playing on the road for the third straight week, the Miners (2-4, 0-2 SFL) went into Loomis and gave the Golden Eagles (4-2, 1-1 SFL) all they could handle in a game that was closer than the final score, 42-19, would indicate.
“Very proud of them. Very proud of the effort from all of them,” Nevada Union head coach Dennis Houlihan said of his players. “Usually Del Oro tries to come out and intimidate you and we’ve fell to that the last couple of years, but our kids just played, played hard.”
The Miners came out strong to start the game and took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter with a halfback pass from Dawson Fay to his older brother Hayden Fay that went for a 10-yard touchdown on third and goal.
For Hayden Fay, an All-SFL First Team receiver in 2016, it was his first touchdown catch this season. It also marked the 20th straight varsity game in which the senior receiver has made at least one catch, dating back to his sophomore season. He finished the game with three catches for 32 yards and the one touchdown.
For Dawson Fay, it was his first passing touchdown of the season to go with seven rushing touchdowns and two kickoff return touchdowns. The junior running back led all NU ball carriers Friday night with 90 yards, including a 1-yard touchdown run late in the game.
Del Oro didn’t trail for long. On the Golden Eagles’ ensuing possession, Dawson Hurst bolted through the Miners defense for a 66-yard touchdown to tie things up. Del Oro added a 4-yard touchdown run by Brice Edwards in the second quarter and took a 15-7 lead into halftime.
Del Oro made it a two score game in the third quarter with a 14-yard touchdown run by Edwards, and led 22-7 heading to the fourth.
The Miners would not go quietly into the night and made it interesting down the stretch.
Early in the fourth quarter, Nevada Union’s senior quarterback Owen Dal Bon found a wide open Cameron Dallago, who caught the short toss and took care of the rest. After hauling in the pass, the junior tight end raced down the field and fought off two defenders at the goaline to finish off the 55-yard scoring play. The Miners faltered on the two-point conversion attempt and trailed 22-13.
The Golden Eagles came right back with a touchdown of their own as Edwards scored his third touchdown of the night on a 19-yard run to put Del Oro back up 16.
On Nevada Union’s ensuing possession, Dal Bon connected with Will Smith for 58 yards to set up a Dawson Fay touchdown run. The two-point try failed again and NU trailed 29-19 with 7:33 left in the game.
Del Oro closed the door on any comeback attempt though, adding two late touchdowns to put the game away.
Dal Bon finished 6-for-13 for a season-high 173 passing yards, a touchdown and an interception. As a team Nevada Union passed for a season-best 217 yards and matched a season high with two touchdowns. The Miners had just 57 passing yards in their previous two games.
ON THE DEFENSIVE
Leading the defensive effort for NU was senior middle linebacker Justin Houlihan with nine tackles, including 1 1/2 for a loss. Sophomore linebacker Duke Morales made seven tackles, 2 1/2 of which were for a loss.
Defensive back Garrett Graves, defensive back Hayden Fay and linebacker Santino Sanchez-Lane each added six tackles. Smith, a senior defensive back, was strong in the secondary with three tackles, an interception and two pass breakups.
“The defense played very well,” said Dennis Houlihan. “They came up with two big stops, made them miss field goals and kept it to a two-touchdown game.”
GETTING SOME EXPERIENCE
With the game out of reach in the final minutes, several of Nevada Union’s younger varsity players got some playing time. Highlighting the final minutes was a 34-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Justin Gardner to sophomore A.J. Meyer. On the play, Meyer rose above the Del Oro defender and tipped the 50-50 ball to himself as he went to the ground.
ISSUES WITH THE EAGLES
With the Miners moving to the Foothill Valley League next season, Friday night’s matchup was the last time NU and Del Oro will face off as league foes. The Miners went 0-8 against the Golden Eagles in SFL play, dating back to 2010.
The Miners will now turn their attention to the Woodcreek Timberwolves (1-5, 0-2 SFL), who come into Hooper Stadium this upcoming Friday. It will be NU’s first home game since Sept. 8.
“It’s been three weeks since we played at home and it’s been a long road trip,” said Dennis Houlihan. “That’s difficult for our guys. So, it’s going to be really nice to come home for homecoming and battle with Woodcreek.”
AROUND THE SFL
Folsom (6-0, 2-0 SFL) knocked off Granite Bay (5-1, 1-1), 35-14, in a battle between unbeaten teams. The Bulldogs were led by quarterback Kaiden Bennett with 162 passing yards, 122 rushing yards and four touchdowns (two passing, two rushing). Oak Ridge (5-0, 1-0 SFL) topped Woodcreek, 42-14. Quarterback Marco Baldacchino led the Trojans with 202 yards passing, 61 rushing and four touchdowns (two passing, two rushing).
FRESHMEN: DEL ORO 32, NEVADA UNION 26
The freshmen Miners made a valiant comeback attempt against Del Oro, but came up just short Thursday in Loomis.
After trailing 26-0 in the second quarter, the Miners (2-4, 0-2 SFL) began to chip away at the deficit. Nevada Union came all the way back to within six points and gave themselves a chance to win in the end, but couldn’t quite get it done.
Leading the freshmen Miners was Jaxon Horne with 173 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. He also caught five passes for 65 yards. Devin Sunde added 62 rush yards and a touchdown, and Andrew Gannon chipped in with 41 yards and a touchdown.
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email email@example.com.
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