JV Football falls to San Marin Mustangs 42-6

Strong First Half Isn’t enough to Overcome a powerful Mustang squad

The Dons JV Football Team begins the 2023 season with a road trip to San Marin High School to take on the Mustangs on their home turf. After the captains exchange handshakes at midfield, the Dons win the coin toss and defer the ball to the second half. A good kickoff by #9, Santi Vignoles, opens the season for the Dons, but a referee whistle brings the ball back for a re-kick. Vignoles second kickoff is bobbled by #3 for the Mustangs, but after collecting himself and breaking multiple tackles, he returns the kickoff almost 100 yards for an opening season return touchdown, giving the Mustangs an early 7-0 lead.

Back to return the Mustangs kickoff for the Dons are #10, Illias Kaplanes-Jones, and #2, Matthew Schwarz. Kaplanes-Jones receives the kick and with a nice return sets up the Dons on their own 33 yard line to start the season for the offense. On first and ten, starting quarterback Wyatt Zawadski hands the ball to #13 Tommy Terhar opening the season for the Dons with a great run around the right side for a 25 yard gain.

An early 4th and one for for the Dons brings in the “heavy” package with Zawadski handing the ball to #52, Amin Noroozi, gaining three tough yards up the right side for a Dons first down. On the following play, Zawadski evades the rush and finds #18 Grant Ricker deep over the middle but unfortunately a penalty nullifies the nice gain. An illegal forward pass brings up 4th and long, and an outstanding punt by Noroozi pins the Mustangs deep in their own territory on the 5 yard line.

Two good stops by the Dons defense sets up an early 3rd down, but the Mustangs manage a first down on a run around the right side to get out of early trouble. A nice stop on a first down QB run by #58 Jack Cooney holds the Mustangs for no gain, and a costly holding penalty pushes the Mustangs all the way back to their own 18 yard line. A deep pass down the right side for the Mustangs flips the field, setting up the Mustangs on the Dons 43 yard line. On the following play, a high snap by the Mustangs sends the ball over the quarterback’s head, and a great hustle play by Terhar to recover the fumble gives the Dons the ball back on their own 36 yard line.

On their second possession of the season, the Dons start off the drive with a sweep around the right side to #3 River Lockwood. On the following play, Zawadski again finds Lockwood with a nice pass up the right side for a 9 yard gain, bringing us to the end of the first quarter with the Mustangs leading the Dons 7-0.

Zawadski finds Ricker up the left side with a nice pass and catch to gain the Dons a first down to start the second quarter. After a short quarterback keeper up the left side, Zawadski floats a nice pass to #84 Bryce Birdsong down the right side for a critical first down on 4th and ten. On the very next play, Zawadski throws a beautiful pass to Ricker in the front corner of the left endzone for the Dons first downtown of the season! The extra point try by Vignoles is blocked, keeping the Mustangs in the lead 7-6.

Vignoles kicks off for the Dons and a nice tackle is made by #89 Josh Elerts to set up the Mustang offense on their own 30 yard line. The Mustangs run the ball twice to get to the 50 yard line with 6:00 left in the second quarter. Another high snap by the Mustangs drops them back to their own 36 yard line setting up a critical 2nd and long. A nice defensive pass breakup by Lockwood causes the Mustang receiver to drop the ball, setting up 3rd and long. Another nice defensive play by Lockwood on a long pass down the left side gives the Mustangs 4th down, forcing a punt to an awaiting Kaplanes-Jones for the Dons. A nice punt by the Mustangs pins the Dons deep in their own territory on their own 11 yard line.

The Dons set up their offense with 4:29 left in the second quarter, and after a short gain on the right side, Zawadski throws deep to Ricker but the pass falls incomplete. On third down, Zawadski steps up in the pocket with a nice pass to Josh Elerts getting the Dons a critical first down as time winds down in the second quarter. On third down, a pass up the left side to Lockwood falls incomplete bringing up 4th down and another Noroozi punt for the Dons. Noroozi’s punt is touched by the Dons at their own 48 yard line giving the Mustangs good field position with 2:00 left in the second quarter.

A nice run up the middle by no. 8 for the Mustangs gains 15 yards on first down, brought down with a nice tackle by Kaplanes-Jones for the Dons. A nifty QB run up the left side for the Mustangs gives them a first and goal at the Dons 10 yard line with 48 seconds left in the first half. Another quarterback keeper up the left side gives the Mustangs their second touchdown of the first half, and the extra point extends their lead to 14-6 over the Dons.

A good kickoff return by Matthew Schwarz for the Dons sets the offense up at their own 30 yard line. A well executed screen pass over the middle to Lockwood  gives the Dons a quick first down to their own 45 yard line. An incomplete pass to Ricker on the left side brings up second down for the Dons with 18 seconds left. A nice pass to Ricker on a skinny post route gives the Dons a first down at the Mustangs 44 yard line with just 12 seconds left in the first half. On the next play, Zawadski is hit in the backfield putting the ball on the turf, but Branson Smith quickly recovers the fumble to keep possession for the Dons with 5.8 seconds left. A Zawadski strike over the middle to Lockwood takes the ball to the Mustangs 17 yard line before Lockwood is pushed out of bounds as time expires in the first half, preserving the Mustangs lead at 14-6 going into the locker room for halftime.

The Dons set up to receive the second half kickoff, and a touchback sets the Dons offense up at their own 20 yard line to start the third quarter. Zawadski pitches the ball forward to Lockwood to start the third quarter, gaining 1 yard up the middle. Another quick pass up the middle to Lockwood gives the Dons a first down, and a nice run around the right side by Tommy Terhar gains 5 yards and gets the Dons offense rolling early in the second half. Zawadski keeps the ball up the middle on second down, and on third down Terhar runs up the middle for the Dons first down. On the very next play the Mustangs return an interception to the endzone, but the touchdown is called back for a holding by the Mustangs on the return. On first down, the Mustangs run around the right side for a touchdown extending their lead to 21-6 with the extra point with 7:08 left in the third quarter.

A nice return on the kickoff by Kaplanes-Jones combined with a hold on the Mustangs sets the Dons up with first and ten at their own 40 yard line. A false start by the offense followed by a holding penalty sets the Dons back to their own 27 yard line for first and long. After three unsuccessful plays the Dons are forced to punt the ball away, giving the Mustangs a first and ten at their own 49 yard line.

A nice defensive stop by the Dons on first down followed by a Mustangs false start pushes the Mustangs offense back, but a nice pass play up the right side gains a first down for the Mustangs to the Dons 40 yard line. Another strong run up the left side for the Mustangs is followed by a crucial holding penalty, pushing the Mustangs offense back to the Dons 25 yard line with 2:23 left in the third quarter.  Noroozi and Elerts converge on the quarterback for an excellent defensive stop to keep the Mustangs to no yards. A nice deep pass play up the left side for the Mustangs results in another touchdown, extending the lead to 27-6, with the extra point bringing the score to 28-6 with 1:29 left in the third quarter.

The ensuing kickoff careens of a Dons player and is returned up the middle by Elerts, setting up the Dons with great field position at the Mustangs 48 yard line. After a run up the middle for no gain, a second down pass is intercepted by the Mustangs giving the ball right back to the home team. A 4 yard run up the middle by the Mustangs brings an end to the third quarter with the home team leading 28-6.

A pass interference call on the next play sets the Mustangs up with good field position on the Dons 20 yard line. A short run followed by an offsides penalty pushes the Mustangs deeper into Dons territory, setting up a critical third and short with just under 7 minutes left in the game. A strong run around the left side by the Mustangs results in a touchdown, giving the Mustangs a 35-6 lead after the successful extra point.

Kaplanes-Jones and Schwarz set up deep to return the ensuing kickoff, with Schwarz receiving the ball and running strong run up the middle to set up the Dons offense on their own 31 yard line.

Lockwood takes over at QB for the Dons and immediately hands off to Terhar for a loss on the right side. A QB keeper up the middle sets up a third and long for the Dons, and a nice pass from Lockwood to Birdsong falls short of the first down.

Noroozi punts the ball away to no. 2 of the Mustangs and after evading a few tackles returns the kick for another touchdown for the home team. After a successful extra point the Mustangs again extend their lead to 42-6.

Kaplanes-Jones and Schwarz again set up for the kick return, with Kaplanes-Jones making a nice return up the left side to set up the Dons at their own 25 yard line. Zawadski takes a quarterback keeper up the right side gaining one yard, followed by a nifty run by Kaplanes-Jones up the middle for a Dons first down. A nice pitch to Lockwood up the right side gains the Dons a first down as time runs out with the Mustangs closing out the game with a 42-6 victory.