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Golden Eagles hang tough; post 31-28 victory

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No one said that anything was going to come easy for the Del Oro High football team this season. After two tough losses to start the ‘08 campaign, the Golden Eagles played their best contest of the year and ended up holding off visiting Enochs of Modesto, 31-28, last Friday for their first win of the season. Led by senior quarterback Mason Magleby, junior running back Bryce Pratt and a tough defense that shackled Enochs’ running game, the Golden Eagles built a 17-7 halftime lead, extended it to 31-15 and then held off the late charging visitors for the win. Del Oro won’t have too much time to savor the hard fought win as the Golden Eagles will hit the road to the San Joaquin Valley Saturday for a game against Merced. The contest is slated to begin at 7:30 p.m. and will be played at Atwater High School’s stadium which is located off Highway 99 near the old Castle Air Force Base. Merced, a defending Sac-Joaquin Section Div. I finalist, is 2-1 after falling last week in Fresno to nationally rated Edison, 43-12. In last Friday’s win, the contest wasn’t secured until Del Oro’s Fred Cargile fell on an Enochs on-sides kick with less than two minutes to play and the Black and Gold proceeded to run out the clock with Pratt handling the time-consuming chores. Pratt finished the game with 117 yards rushing on 27 carries that included a pair of two-yard scoring runs in the first half. Pratt’s first score wiped out an early Enochs lead while the second gave the Loomis gridders the lead for good with just over three minutes left in the first half. Magleby was also a key factor for the winners. The senior Del Oro quarterback hit on 15 of 27 passes for 149 yards, rushed 12 times for 51 yards and two scores and also found time to boot a 28-yard field goal as the first-half clock wound down that helped Del Oro take a 17-7 advantage into the locker room at the break. “It was a good win for us,” said Del Oro coach Casey Taylor. “We got the monkey off our backs.” Taylor also praised the work of Pratt as a big key in the win. “Bryce had a big game for us tonight,” said Taylor. “He always plays tough for us and tonight he got the tough yards when we needed them.” Taylor also singled out the defensive work of Joe Brunet, Casey Cox and Blake Landry in the win as Del Oro was forced to survive a second-half aerial attack by the visitors.