Eagles To Face Stiff Challenge At St. Mary's

Del Oro Hits Road Again To Face Streaking Rams
By: Mike Ray, Gold Country News Service
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The early season losses to Oaks Christian, Westlake and Grant seem oh so long ago. It’s ironic how high school football can sometimes be cruel.  All three of those teams – which handed Del Oro losses in August and September - had their respective seasons end in the first round of the playoffs last weekend.


Meanwhile, the Black and Gold of Del Oro are marching on.


Friday the Golden Eagles take their road show to Stockton for an attractive 7 p.m. second round CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Div. II collision with host St. Mary’s. The game will be a rematch of the Golden Eagles and Rams colliding in the 2009 semi-finals, Del Oro winning, 30-29.


The No. 7 Rams will pose a big challenge for the Loomis gridders as the Stockton squad has put together a six-game winning streak since going 2-2 through a rugged non-league slate that included losses to small school power Central Catholic, 28-21, and to national power De La Salle, 21-13.


“They have a talented group of skill players and some good size on their fronts,” said Del Oro coach Casey Taylor. “This is a huge challenge for us but that’s why we played the pre-season schedule we did.”


Del Oro, at 6-5, looked all but like the Div. II No. 15 seed last Friday when they traveled to Yuba City and stunned the No. 2 Honkers, 45-21. The Golden Eagles used a big running attack to put the Honkers into a big 21-0 hole they couldn’t climb out of.


This week the Golden Eagles’ bread and butter running game will be tested by a stout St. Mary’s defense which limited Tracy to just 84 rushing yards in last week’s opening round 34-6 romp over the Bulldogs. Tracy had entered the game averaging nearly 275 yards on the ground.


On offense the Rams are led by 6-3 190-pound junior quarterback Kaleb Parrish who has winged it for 1,935 yards and 24 touchdown passes against just seven interceptions. Parrish has some more than capable receivers including  6-foot three-inch Kaodi Dike, who has 31 catches for 505 yards and four scores, Jalen Ratliff (24x436) and Brian Pasquel (31x505).


On the ground, the Rams are paced by the 1-2 punch of sophomore Javonte Norman (559, 6 TDs) and Javon Wilson (438, 6 TDs).


Friday’s winner will meet the winner of Friday’s Elk Grove-Del Campo game on Fri. Nov. 23 in a Div. II semi-final game.


Eagle Clippings – Senior running back Brandon Monroe is closing in on the coveted 3,000 yard career rushing mark at Del Oro. Despite missing three games with an injury earlier this season, Monroe has still gained 1,042 yards this season. His three-year varsity total (he played four playoff games as a sophomore) is 2,953 yards with 46 touchdowns…Former Del Oro star quarterback Randy Fasani, who went on to play at Stanford and in the NFL, will be back in the foothills area Friday night. Fasani is the offensive coordinator for Ripon Christian who will play at Foresthill in a Div. VI semi-final contest…..Optimist All-Star Game - The 57th Optimist All-Star Football Game, pitting senior stars from the North against those from the South, will be played at Del Oro on Dec. 22. The Optimist game, with proceeds going to the Ross Relles Camp for the Handicapped, moved from its decades-long summer format to maximize end-of-season momentum and secure commitments from scholarship players. In recent summers, most scholarship players were not allowed by their college coaches to participate. Casey Taylor of Del Oro and Mike Alberghini of Grant will coach the North, and Joe Cattolico of Pleasant Grove will head guide the South with coordinators Mike Johnson of Franklin and John Heffernan of Burbank.