Eagles battle past Nevada Union host Granite Bay Friday

By: Sara Seyydin and Mike Ray, Gold Country News Service
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Thanks to a sterling last-minute comeback last Friday night in Grass Valley, the Del Oro High football team has set the stage for what should be a marquee match-up for Sierra Foothill League leadership. The Golden Eagles were forced to the brink last Friday at Nevada Union before rallying to score the winning touchdown with just 26 seconds to play for a scintillating 35-31 win over the Miners. The win now vaults Del Oro into Friday’s big home game against Granite Bay. Both teams will be bringing identical 6-1 and 2-0 records into the contest. Del Oro fought tooth and nail for senior wide receiver Nick O’Sullivan’s touchdown in the second. Bobby Heatherington’s 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.” Heatherington had his best completion night of the season as he completed 17 of 19 attempts for 199 yards and one touchdown. Junior running back Brandon Monroe helped Del Oro’s momentum by pushing through for an 8-yard touchdown before the half. In the third quarter, Nevada Union kicked it into 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. Playing well on defense for Del Oro were Smith, O’Sullivan, Tanner Woods, Alex Bertrando, Ashwin Cardenas and Dalton Hudek. ~ Staff report