Grant downs Del Oro with emotional victory
The Del Oro Golden Eagles fell to the Grant Pacers 31-30 in one of the most exciting games of this young football season.
The Pacers won it on a last second field goal by Anfernee Henderson.
After a back and forth game that saw the lead change hands five times, Del Oro mounted a late drive with 4:31 left to play in the fourth quarter down 28-24.
Del Oro’s Dylan Kainrath ignited the go-ahead-scoring drive with a 60-yard run that brought his Golden Eagles to the red zone. A relentless running onslaught from there finally yielded a 1-yard touchdown run for Kainrath that put Del Oro up 30-28 with 41 seconds left.
From there Grant put on an impressive throwing display that included a 46-yard reception by Darrion Jeffery that brought the Pacers to the Eagles’ 21-yard line.
“I was just thinking, if I didn’t catch it we’re going to lose,” Jeffery said after the game.
A short pass to Trayvon Henderson from there set up Henderson’s 35-yard game-winning field goal.
Kainrath led Del Oro in rushing with 34 rushes for 159 yards and three touchdowns.
Grant’s rushing weapon, senior Marquise Carter-Petit led the game in rushing with 18 rushes totaling 263 yards and three touchdowns.
Both teams came in to this game on three-game losing streaks, uncharacteristic for two of the Sacramento region’s perennial powerhouse teams.
“We both needed a win real bad,” Grant coach Mike Alberghini said after his team’s late heroics.
“Tonight was about sticking together as a group and finishing the game and I think both (teams) did that.”
For Grant, tonight’s game was also significant because they had a tragic sudden passing away of their running backs coach Ed Coleman last Saturday.
The players were emotional after the game when speaking of him, and Alberghini was respectful and appreciative of his comrade.
“He was what we played for tonight,” Alberghini said, “In his memory.”
Del Oro coach Casey Taylor was pleased with his team’s effort on Friday night.
“I thought our guys played great. What a great game,” he said. “Proud of them. We got some guys banged up and had some guys step up, Dylan’s a great example.”
Taylor has a big-picture mentality toward the rest of the season.
“Everybody’s record goes to 0-0 in league so we gotta get healthy and get better and hopefully got a good start in league,” the coach said. “I told our guys ‘believe in the process.’ We’re a good team. We’ve played some great teams (so far).”
For Del Oro’s Kainrath, Friday night was one of his best football performances to date.
“It’s hands down one of the best games I’ve ever played,” Kainrath said. “It means a lot getting that last (touchdown) run.”
Taylor had high praise for his running back, who stepped in admirably for the injured Brandon Monroe.
“Over the last couple weeks, he’s really stepped it up,” Taylor said.
“He’s a competitor, a state wrestler, and he’s a good player.”
Zach LaBar: 3 for 6 passing for 68 yards and one touchdown.
Isaiah Rios: 10-15 for 149 yards and one touchdown, one interception.
Darrion Jeffery: Two catches for 60 yards.
Grant had 440 yards of total offense.
Troy Kline: One interception
Abnor Toma: 10 tackles.