Vista Jr. Eagles second-round playoff results
Natomas 12, Vista 0
The Vista Jr. Peewees earned their way to the opening round of the playoffs against the No. 2 seed Natomas Jr. Nighthawks. The Jr. Eagles’ coaches and players were poised to put the pressure on the Jr. Nighthawks and redeem their earlier season loss to the Jr. Nighthawks. The Jr. Eagles came out aggressively on the opening kickoff, as Cruz Becerra flew down the field to recover the ball. Throughout the first half, a mix of run and pass plays led by Jacoby More at quarterback and protected by the Jr. Eagles’ offensive line of St. Dennis, Bogan, Watkins, Angelsey, Hendy and Baumann were chewing up yards. The Jr. Nighthawks red-zone defense tightened up; however, keeping up the Jr. Eagles out of the end zone. The Jr. Eagles’ defense was soaring at a high level with key tackles by Gagliardi, Wolfe and Aubrey, and the relentless pursuit of the defense led by Righini, Elmer and Kaestner continued to push the Jr. Nighthawks backwards. As the first half came to a close, More and Kaestner connected on a 38-yard pass and Kaestner was brought down at the goal line. In a call that could have gone either way, the ruling on the field was that Kaestner was inches short of the goal line and time expired in the half. The second half started much like the first with the Jr. Eagles’ offense controlling the tempo, moving the ball down the field, while the team’s swarming defense kept the Jr. Nighthawks speed in check. With another big pass play from More to Kaestner, the Jr. Eagles looked to put up points, as they reached the five-yard line, but a turnover led to a defensive score for the Nighthawks. On the subsequent kickoff, Cruzito Peralta made a diving effort to secure the ball. The Jr. Eagles once again moved the ball, but couldn’t score. The game ended in a 12-0 loss for the Jr. Eagles, even though the stat sheets showed the Jr. Eagles had dominated a majority of the game on both sides of the ball. As the season comes to an end, the wins and losses will fade with time; however the friends made, tears, laughter, stories and good sportsmanship will always be part of your life moving forward. Congratulations to the 2018 Jr. Eagles Family made up of coaches, players, cheerleaders, parents and fans on a fantastic season.
Vista 36, Ponderosa 0
Back on July 30, the 14-and-under Jr. Eagles set a goal to end their final season of junior football on November 3 playing for the SYF Division II championship in their future high school stadium. After their semifinal dismantling of the Jr. Bruins from Ponderosa, 36-0, they convincingly earned the right to practice one more week and suit up one more time as Jr. Eagles. Controlling the ball with an almost three-to-one time of possession advantage, the Jr. Eagles put up 428 yards of offense, and no turnovers on 50 snaps from scrimmage with four ball carriers with 50 or more yards rushing. When the Jr. Eagles weren’t grinding it out between the tackles, they completed 65 percent of their pass attempts for 185 yards through the air to five different receivers. The offensive linemen were the stars of the day, playing eight guys in the trenches while giving up no sacks, no plays for negative yards, and gaining a season-high 25 first downs. Defensively, the shutout speaks for itself, but Saturday’s game was the most complete effort from all three levels of the Jr. Eagle defense. Sacking Jr. Bruin quarterbacks four times, breaking up six pass attempts, and one interception, the Jr. Eagles allowed just 94 yards and six first downs to a team who averaged 28 points per game during the regular season. The win versus the Jr. Bruins sets up a rematch with the Jesuit Jr. Marauders at 4 p.m. Saturday the Division 2 title. The Jr. Marauders won the regular season contest in week seven. The Jr. Eagles are looking forward to another shot at the Jr. Marauders and fulfilling the team goal set during summer workouts.