Eagles soar in season openers

Del Oro High Football Roundup
By: Eric J. Gourley, Gold Country News Service
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All three Del Oro High football teams kicked off the fall in style last week, but none looked more determined in their 2009 opener than the varsity squad. Senior running back Bryce Pratt carried 41 times for 248 yards and two touchdowns, including the deciding score, to lead the Golden Eagles to a 28-21 upset of California High of San Ramon Saturday at Folsom High’s Battle at the Capital showcase. The Eagles might have conceded a game like this last year. They finished a subpar 4-6 and shocked the section by missing the playoffs. Three of their six losses came by three or fewer points, and despite a 10-0 halftime deficit, Del Oro wasn’t going to let this one slip away. “This is a whole different team,” said senior wide receiver Freddie Cargile, whose only catch, a 35-yard out route, set up the second of four second-half touchdowns. “There was no point whatsoever where we were doubting ourselves. We knew we were going to come back.” The Eagles face a tough road test at Cardinal Newman this weekend. The Cardinals crushed Del Oro in Loomis 52-25 last September, but they’re coming off a 36-12 loss to Central Catholic of Modesto at the Battle at the Capital. Junior Varsity After an 8-2 finish last season, the JV Eagles looked sharp following three scrimmages. Del Oro silenced Foresthill 40-0 in their season opener. The injury-plagued Wildfires were no match for the Eagles, who scored on two of their first three plays. Russell Smith ran 25 yards for a touchdown on the Eagles’ first play from scrimmage. Tanner Huber rushed 15 yards for another quick score, and the rout was on. Smith added another TD later in the game and Austin Howerton returned a kickoff 70 yards for a touchdown. Joey Muscarella also scored a touchdown. Quarterback Bobby Heatherington threw only one pass in his first JV game replacing Max Magleby, who is starting for the varsity squad as a junior. Heatherington tossed a 20-yard completion to Alex Bertrando. Linebackers Alex Mason and Ross Jarvis intercepted passes. Freshmen The Eagles had little trouble dispatching host Antelope in freshmen action, 42-11. Running back Tyler Wharton ran for two touchdowns, including a 37-yard scamper off left tackle. Conner Johnson also ran for a touchdown. Wide receiver Steven O’Neil caught a touchdown pass from quarterback Peter Denum. The Del Oro freshmen travel to play at rival Granite Bay on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. The JV and varsity squads travel to Santa Rosa to face perennial North Coast Section power Cardinal Newman on Friday, with respective kickoffs slated for 4:30 and 7 p.m.