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Del Oro wins in dramatic fashion at Nevada Union

Smith's TD in the final minute saves Golden Eagles
By: Sara Seyydin Journal Staff Writer
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The Del Oro High battled its way to a 35-31 victory over Nevada Union Friday night, scoring the winning touchdown with just 26 seconds to go. The Golden Eagles (6-1 overall, 2-0 SFL) and the Miners (4-3, 0-2 SFL) stood at a stalemate in the first quarter, with neither team allowing any points on the board. Del Oro fought tooth and nail for senior wide receiver Nick O’Sullivan’s touchdown in the second. His pass to senior wide receiver Russell Smith also secured the game-winning touchdown. O’Sullivan had 18 carries for 105 yards and two touchdowns. “It felt amazing,” O’Sullivan said. “I came back from the most errors I have ever had in a game. I had three fumbles. I kept my head up. My fumbles definitely didn’t help, but I’m happy we won. I knew it was going to be a tough game.” Golden Eagle senior quarterback Bobby Heatherington had his best completion rate yet. He completed 17 of 19 attempts for 199 yards and 1 touchdown. Junior running back Brandon Monroe helped to add to Del Oro’s momentum by pushing through for an 8-yard touchdown before the half. Miner senior wide receiver Jake Hofheinz put the Miners’ first points on the board, on a touchdown pass from junior running back Hank Humphers. Nevada Union senior running back Josiah Payne bagged the two-point conversion. Miner kicker Braaten Sill put up three points on a field goal. In the third quarter, Nevada Union kicked it in to gear. A slew of penalties also slowed the game down. Miner junior quarterback Kyle Cota ran the ball in for a touchdown. With the pressure on, O’Sullivan delivered his second touchdown of the night. A 38-yard pass from Heatherington to senior wide receiver Blake Covey helped move that play along. Covey had 6 catches for 37 yards. Humphers and Hofheinz once again proved to be the right combination for the Miners, with another touchdown in the third that set them ahead. Although Nevada Union was in prime position to win, Del Oro had other ideas. O’Sullivan and Smith made the magic happen. As the ball slid into Smith’s hands seconds before the clock ran out, the visitor’s stands erupted in celebration. Smith had six catches for 44 yards and one touchdown. “It felt amazing. I am in disbelief. I felt everyone was down after the first half. We wanted to play better,” Smith said. “We had to play more physical than them and we had to play cleaner than them.” For senior tight end Alex Burtrando celebrating the close win was a great addition to his birthday celebrations. He turned 18 Friday. “It was awesome,” Bertrando said. “We didn’t give up and our line did a great job.” Reach Sara Seyydin at saras@goldcountrymedia.com.