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Eagles claw for a piece of the SFL crown

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Homecoming win gives Del Oro share of SFL, sets up playoff tilt Five weeks ago talk of Del Oro winning a Sierra Foothill League football championship and reaching the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs was, well, probably as far fetched as the Giants winning the World Series. But for this year’s Del Oro grid squad, the Golden Eagles proved that sometimes staying the course is worth its weight in gold. Capping off a remarkable late regular season march, Del Oro outlasted Woodcreek, 28-21, Friday night and in the process claimed a share of the SFL title. Now, the Golden Eagles are looking to carry over their late charge to make a deep run into CIF post season that begins Friday night. This season, for the first time since the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section expanded its playoff format, the Golden Eagles will vie in Div. III in the post season, a move more enrollment based than by league affiliation. But before anyone thinks that Del Oro’s playoff switch from Div. II to Div. III will be a walk through the park, better look again. “This is a very tough division,” said Del Oro coach Casey Taylor. “There aren’t any pushovers. We’re taking things one game at a time.” Del Oro, which finished the regular season at 6-4, earned a No. 11 seed in the 16-team bracket and pairings that were released Saturday afternoon. Del Oro will open its playoff slate on Friday when they travel to play No. 6 seed East Union in Manteca. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. East Union notched a record of 7-3 in a competitive Valley Oak League. The Lancers’ losses all came in league at the hands of Sierra, Sonora and Oakdale. However, East Union will be coming off one of the biggest upsets in the section this season. On Friday, playing unbeaten and top-seeded Div. III power Manteca, the Lancers used a superb defensive effort to stymie the Buffalo and pull off a 10-7 victory. The Lancers are led by pass-run quarterback threat Teejay Gordon who has accounted for over 2,000 yards of total offense and 20 touchdowns for the Lancers. He’s joined by running back Steven Gigli (108x612) and receiver Robert Vaughn (48x779). If Del Oro wins on Friday, the Golden Eagles would advance to play the winner of Friday’s first round game between Pioneer of Woodland and Whitney.