Darkness on the Edge of Martinez
After quick starts in the last two games, the Dons looked like a team that only had one practice and several days of w/o power in the opening moments of their meeting with Alhambra. After initially holding the Bulldogs to a 4th down in-completion, the Dons made the first mistake of the night by earning a 15 yd personal foul. The play gave Alhambra a first down and a big momentum swing in the game. The Bulldogs converted quickly on the opportunity, completing a 7-yard TD pass over the middle, and adding the PAT to take a 7-0 lead. The Dons seemed to come back quickly, as Andrew Habas took a long Kick Off return all the way to the End Zone… but it was called back on for a block in the back penalty. A few plays later Jake Takeuchi received a long bomb from Kyle Bielawski that would have put the Dons into the Alhambra red zone, but yet again, a yellow hanky for illegal receiver downfield negated the play. Three plays, three penalties things weren’t looking great.
Bulldogs Blinded by the Light
But the Dons weren’t to be denied on this Halloween Night. A Wide Receiver screen sprung Jake for a big gain up the middle on third and long, which set up a short TD run by Tobias Schwing to get the Dons on the board. The two-point conversion was no good, leaving the score at 7-6, Alhambra. In the next series Alhambra continued to show life on offense, completing several passes down the middle including a short TD to widen their lead. After a couple of penalties on the extra point (including one on the Dons for kicking a muffed PAT attempt), the final PAT was blocked, leaving the score at 13-6, Bulldogs. That’s when the lights came on for the Dons. A short slant to Andrew Habas netted a huge 55-yard gain, including an impressive pancake by Ethan Torres on the Alhambra safety (who says WRs can’t block? Dons can). With only 10-yards to go, QB Kool Kyle B executed a perfect option read pitch to Toby who walked it into the End Zone. This time the two-point conversion pass to Andrew was good, Dons 14-13. On the next defensive possession, the Dons D woke up. Big stops by Tyler Worthington and Eli Brent forced an Alhambra 3 and out, and the rout was on. Another long run by Toby on another option read followed by a Kyle to Andrew TD pass and it was quickly 20-13. A deftly executed onside kick by Andrew Huchingson was recovered by Coco Gannon and a few plays later Kyle lofted a perfect pass that Jake snagged in the right corner for another score, Dons 26-13. The D held once again, and a couple of plays later, Toby took a middle screen 55 yards to the house. Huch hit the XP and it was 33-13 at the end of the first half. The second half started like the first ended, with Toby taking a read option pitch left, then right, escorted by the O-line all the way to pay dirt. Immediately following that score, Leon Theiss converted the two-pointer on a TE delay. to the absolute delight of his teammates, and it was 48-20. Two more scores, one on a short pass to Andrew, and one for Alhambra, closed out the game with a Frosh Dons win, 48-27.
Dons Take Care of their Own
The Frosh Dons finish 7-3 and end on a high note. It was amazing to see the transformation from summer practice w/o pads, to Tahoe Camp, to the first away game in 100-degree+ Stockton, all the way to the final contest at Alhambra. Every single player made remarkable improvements all along the way and it’ll be even more exciting to see how much better they’ll be next year. Thanks to our great coaches who were encouraging and patient and really instilled a feeling of family, a band of brothers, within the team. Special thanks to our amazing team Mom, Jane Smith, who did everything but suit up herself and had to be worth at least two scores a game just by the sheer force of her will. Thanks to Line Kristensen, who braved the cold and heat down on the field to take amazing pictures to share with everyone. Thanks to Dave Gannon for keeping stats (definitely helped my memory). And lastly, thanks to all the parents (especially the Moms), for showing up en masse and cheering louder than any other team to the point of making all the games home games for the boys. As coach Buddy says, there is no sport like football, it creates an unbreakable bond, not only between the players, but between the parents too. See you all next year!
Jeff Julian, Proud Dons Dad and Frosh Football PR Director