The Acalanes Freshmen played their hearts out against a bigger, stronger California High team, but came up just short on the scoreboard losing 16-14. It was an exciting game from start to finish and the young Dons have a lot to be proud of!
Acalanes’ dynamic offense moved the ball up and down the field throughout the first half but could not score. It received a big time pick me up from the defense which was sensational in the first half. The defensive secondary of NIKO WHITE, JAMES STADT, BRENDAN MILES, KEEGAN GODDARD and BRODY DARIN was a “No Fly Zone” as Cal High could not complete a pass. At least not to its own team anyway. DARIN had an interception and STADT provided the Dons only first half scoring with a Pick 6 off an attempted screen pass. Quarterback DAVID GONZALES then hit STADT with the extra point pass to make it 8-0.
Linebackers DAVID ROUX, JAKE YOSHINAKA and BRODY GREENFIELD relentlessly pursued Cal High’s ball carries to keep the running game in check. Defensive lineman DREW MCKENZIE and cornerback BRENDAN MILES each made a number of tackles. And whenever Cal High’s shifty runners seemed to break free safety NIKO WHITE was always there to bring them down for the Dons.
The second half saw Cal High turn exclusively to its running game with great success. It pounded the ball and pounded the ball to take a 16-8 lead. As the clock ticked down in the 4th quarter it seemed as though the game may be over, but defensive lineman JADEN McCLANE had other ideas. On third down and short, McCLANE moved off his blocker and used his long arms to stop Cal High’s running back for no gain which forced a punt. The team was pumped, the fans were pumped. The Dons still had a chance.
After the Dons took over at Cal High’s 44-yard line, GONZALEZ flipped the ball to WHITE who started left and then found daylight down the right sideline to the 10-yard line. This was followed by a slant pass to JB FROLICH down to the 1. Things then got a bit tricky. A running play went nowhere, GONZALEZ suffered a fierce sack, a pass fell incomplete and then the Dons were penalized for illegal motion. On 4th and 15, GONZALEZ was flushed from the pocket and threatened the defense with the possibility of a run – this left ALEK ADOLPHSON wide open in the end zone and GONZALEZ found him to cut the lead to 16-14. A thrilling moment for the home crowd!
Unfortunately, the Dons could not convert the extra point, and their onside kick was unsuccessful. However, while the 4th quarter was over, the 5th quarter was ready to start. JAKE COLACO came in at QB for the Dons and looked sharp as he threw TD passes to both SAMMY FOSTER and GRIFFIN DuBOIS. DREW HANSEN and ZACH HERRERIAS contributed strong tackles on defense and GRIFFIN ROTUNDO displayed great energy rushing the quarterback from his Linebacker position