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Del Oro doomed by second half

Golden Eagles fall to nationally ranked Bishop Gorman
By: Joshua Ansley Journal Sports Writer
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LAS VEGAS — Raging winds traversed across the desert landscape as the Del Oro High football team fell 38-13 to the former Nevada state champion Bishop Gorman Gaels Saturday night in Las Vegas. The wind would prove troublesome for both teams, but its fury would ultimately take hold of Del Oro as it was driving into it through most of the second half. Down 17-13 to begin the third quarter, Del Oro drove 51 yards into the wind, ready to take the lead again, facing a fourth and inches on Bishop Gorman’s 13-yard line. A false start put the Golden Eagles back another five yards. Not wanting to kick into the wind, the Golden Eagles failed to convert on the play, and the game would take a nasty turn from there. Two plays later junior running back Shaquille Powell ran 67 yards for a touchdown, and the Gaels would never look back. Del Oro went 3-and-out on the ensuing possession and Powell’s next carry resulted in a 44-yard touchdown run. Powell finished the game with 251 yards rushing on 22 carries, and four touchdowns. With Powell’s back-to-back scores happening so quickly coach Casey Taylor said the game was a lot closer than what the final score indicated. “For three and a half quarters we were right there with them,” Taylor said. The Eagles looked as if they were going to have a legitimate shot at upsetting Bishop Gorman when senior running back Kenny Andri scored with about a minute and half left in the first half, putting the Golden Eagles up 13-10. The Gaels would not accept a first half deficit, however, as they turned to their passing game. The home team drove 78 yards in one minute on four straight complete passes from sophomore quarterback Jarrett Solomon. His final toss was a short three-yard touchdown pass that put Bishop Gorman up 17-13 with just 16 seconds left in the first half. In the end, the first half proved far more thrilling than the second. It was a half that Del Oro can certainly hang its hat on, seeing that the Golden Eagles were toe-to-toe with one of the top football programs in the nation. “The way we came out in the first half really gave us the game we wanted,” Taylor said. “I was happy with the kids after going down 10-nothing early and coming back to take the lead.” The two biggest plays for Del Oro came in sequence during a second-quarter drive by Bishop Gorman. It began with a personal foul against Del Oro following the celebration of a monstrous clothesline hit on a Bishop Gorman receiver that sent his mouthpiece flying another 10 yards down field. The 125-plus Del Oro fans erupted in defiance against the call that put the Gaels in scoring position. With the Golden Eagle sideline still in uproar, the defense forced the Gaels to attempt a 26-yard field goal. The kick was blocked by Tyler Adair, and returned 55 yards by Nick O’Sullivan, setting up a touchdown that gave Del Oro the brief lead. Still, it wasn’t to be as Del Oro tried to overcome some first-game jitters, dropping routine passes, missing tackles, and fumbling the ball several times, two of which resulted in turnovers. Taylor said that the game really came down to a few missed opportunities resulting from those mishaps. “Against a good team like that you can’t make those kind of mistakes,” he said. Senior quarterback Max Magleby threw for 60 yards on 6-of-12 passing. He found junior wide receiver Daniel Thomas twice for 17 yards and 18 yards, but pressure from Bishop Gorman and gusts of wind clearly affected Magleby’s accuracy. Thomas finished with three catches on the night for 47 yards. Andri ran for 117 yards and two touchdowns on 33 carries. Del Oro’s backup quarterback Bobby Heatherington turned in a nice fourth quarter with four completions for 65 yards. The biggest question mark for Del Oro won’t be about a disappointing loss to an elite team. It will be about how soon junior Zach Heath — Del Oro’s 265-pound offensive lineman— can return to action. Heath sustained a knee injury in the third quarter and had to be helped off the field. He is scheduled to undergo an MRI this week. Del Oro will be at home Saturday as they face Div. I Bullard High from Fresno. The game will cap off a thrilling weekend of football Friday and Saturday as teams from all over Northern California go head-to-head in the Battle at the Capital in Loomis. The Golden Eagles were 6-0 at home last year and should be primed for action after getting the first game kinks out of the way.