The Del Oro High Golden Eagles once again have their backs against the wall, just most of this football season.
With two weeks left in the regular season, the Golden Eagles are facing a “win or else” scenario to have a chance at reaching the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs.
Del Oro slipped to 2-1 in Sierra Foothill League play last Friday after spinning its wheels in a tough 21-7 loss at Granite Bay. The win by the host Grizzlies boosted Granite Bay into sole possession of the SFL lead at 3-0 with two games to play.
Because Del Oro’s overall season record now sits at 3-5, the Golden Eagles’ best bet to reach the playoffs is to win its final two league games – Friday at home vs. Nevada Union and Nov. 2 at home vs. Rocklin – to secure second place in the SFL and gain one of the league’s two automatic berths to the post season.
This weekend’s SFL games feature Granite Bay playing at Woodcreek, and Rocklin hosting Roseville, while the Golden Eagles will be facing a tough NU. The NU squad, after an opening league loss to Rocklin, has rebounded to throttle both Woodcreek, 45-7, and Roseville, 52-19.
The Miners feature perhaps the SFL’s best passer in Kyle Cota, a senior who has thrown for 1,756 yards that includes 16 TD passes against just three interceptions. Cota’s top receiver is Ian Davis, who has caught 55 passes for 978 yards and eight scoring receptions.
NU enters Friday’s game looking for a win and then hopes to knock off Granite Bay next Friday in Grass Valley for a possible piece of the SFL title.
In last week’s setback to Granite Bay, Grizzlies quarterback Grant Caraway proved to be thorn in the side of the Golden Eagles as he ccounted for 106 yards rushing on eight carries and his passing for 121 more stripes and a pair of touchdowns.
Granite Bay offense was effective in the first half, as Caraway fired a 6-yard touchdown pass to tight end Steven Graber to cap an 82-yard drive and give the Grizzlies a 7-0 lead. On their second possession, the Grizzlies pushed their lead to 14-0 as Caraway took the ball on a keeper and swerved outside before hurtling a Del Oro defender and dashing 45 yards for the six points.
Del Oro got on the scoreboard in the second quarter as running back Brandon Monroe shook loose on an 80-yard touchdown run to trim the margin to 14-7. Monroe finished the game with 112 yards rushing on 12 carries.
But Granite Bay answered Del Oro’s score just before halftime when Caraway hit Tony Ellison with a 27-yard touchdown pass to make it 21-7 Grizzlies at halftime.
Del Oro was then stymied in the second half as a tough Granite Bay defense allowed the Black and Gold just four first downs over the final 24 minutes.
“It was a great game,” said Del Oro coach Casey Taylor. “They gave us some looks we hadn’t seen and hit us with some big plays early. Field position was huge. We had to go 70 or 80 yards every time we had the ball, and we couldn’t get anything going consistently on offense.”
Following Monroe in the offensive department was quarterback Zach Labar with a 5 of 13 night in the air for 80 yards passing. His top receivers were Kyle Wells, with one catch for 35 yards, and Tyler Meteer, with one grab for 23 yards.
G. Bay 3 0
Del Oro 2 1
Rocklin 2 1
N. Union 2 1
Woodcreek 0 3
Roseville 0 3
Nevada Union at Del Oro, 7:30 p.m.
Granite Bay at Woodcreek
Roseville at Rocklin