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Golden Eagles Still Ticking

Del Oro shuts down St. Mary's in second half for 21-10 win
By: Bob Highfill, Special to The Journal
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STOCKTON - Brandon Monroe said he always runs hard.
Del Oro coach Casey Taylor said his senior running back has been sensational the past month since coming off an injury. Monroe made an impression that will burn in the memory banks of St. Mary's coach Tony Franks and his player for a long, long time.
Monroe's effort was nothing short of astounding. He had 36
tackle-breaking carries for 296 yards with touchdown runs of 65, 33 and
11 yards, and the No. 15 Golden Eagles stomped the No. 7 Rams 21-10 in
the quarterfinals of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II playoffs on a
rainy night at Sanguinetti Field. 
Del Oro, whose 7-5 record and seeding are misleading due to its brutal
non-league schedule, will play at No. 3 Elk Grove, which beat
Sacramento-Del Campo 35-14 on Friday, in the semifinals at 7 p.m. next
Friday.
"Our line did a great job tonight," said Monroe, who also caught three
passes for 36 yards. "The defense did an amazing job. We just kept
pushing it."
 About the only mistake the 6-foot-1, 195-pound Monroe made was when he
overthrew Cody Otten on a fourth-down pass play at the St. Mary's 31
with his team leading 7-0 in the second quarter. Otten was 20 yards in
the clear, but no matter. The Rams had no answer for Monroe and
quarterback Zach Labar, who made enough plays to keep the chains moving.
 "(Monroe's) a special player," Golden Eagles coach Casey Taylor said.
"Not only is he a great player on the field but he's a team player, very
humble."
 St. Mary's defense did a poor job tackling the entire game, but much of
the credit goes to Monroe and his blockers.
 "They just kept going up the middle," Rams senior defensive back Na'im
McGee said. "Their offense, their running back is deep and he just hits
the hole wherever it is. He kept cutting it back and that's what kept
beating us. They definitely came prepared to play."
 St. Mary's (9-3) took the opening kickoff and drove 67 yards to Del
Oro's 1-yard line. The Golden Eagles stopped Rams' quarterback Kaleb
Parrish short of the goal line on a fourth-down sneak, and proceeded to
travel 99 yards with the final 65 coming on Monroe's first TD run of the
game.
 In the second quarter, the Rams again drove to the 1-yard line but were
stuffed on three plays and had to settle for a 21-yard field goal by
Sawyer Hicks. St. Mary's took the lead on a 6-yard run by Parrish in the
second quarter, but the junior landed hard in the end zone and
dislocated his left, non-throwing shoulder. Parrish finally had to leave
the game when Dylan Kainrath chased him down and tackled him on the
first play of the fourth quarter.
 By that time, Monroe had scored on a 33-yard run with 5:32 left in the
third quarter and on an 11-yard run with 25 seconds left in the third to
put the game away.
 "I'm unbelievably disappointed," said Franks, whose team was outscored
14-0 in the second half. "I feel badly for our team and our players that
we played the way we did."