Golden Eagles Stuff Whitney, 38-0

Win Sends Del Oro To Div. III Title Game Friday vs. Oakdale
By: Mike Ray, Gold Country News Services
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LOOMIS – Late in the third quarter of Friday’s s CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Div. III football semi-final game between Del Oro and Whitney, the Golden Eagles broke their offensive huddle and came out in a “trips” receiver set to one side. As the Golden Eagles lined-up, Del Oro quarterback Bobby Heatherington gave the signal for one of his receivers to go in motion but the player didn’t heed his quarterback’s instruction and stayed put. Heatherington then shouted at the receiver to start his motion route but the only player who moved was a Golden Eagle offensive lineman who jumped offside. For the most part, the five-yard illegal procedure penalty that Del Oro absorbed on the play was about the only thing the Golden Eagles didn’t do right Friday. Using a suffocating defense that kept a Jake Rodrigues-less Whitney offense in shackles all night, the Golden Eagles pleased a large home crowd by registering a workman-like 38-0 win over the Wildcats to advance to next Friday's CIF Div. III championship game. Now 12-1 on the season and winners in 11 straight games, the Golden Eagles will meet undefeated Oakdale (13-0) in a rematch of last year’s section title game at Sacramento State’s Hornet Stadium. The game will be played Friday with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m. Oakdale advanced to the title game with a 42-23 win Friday over Casa Roble. For Del Oro, Friday’s effort capped a solid all-around effort which saw the hosts out-gain the outgunned Wildcats by a 346-123 total yards margin in a contest that went to a running clock in the fourth quarter. “I think we came out with a lot of fight tonight,” said Del Oro senior Russell Smith who was a standout on both sides of the ball for the winners. “It was the last time for the seniors to be playing here at home and and we wanted to make it something we would remember.” Sticking to their standard method of operation, the Golden Eagles unleashed its 1-2 running punch of Brandon Monroe and Nick O’Sullivan behind the offensive line work of Zach Heath, Ashwin Cardenas and Kevin Love to build a 24-0 lead by halftime and cruise home in the second half. Monroe rushed 17 times for 147 yards and had touchdown runs of one, 23 and 40 yards while O’Sullivan added two touchdowns of his own, one on a 32-yard bolt in the opening quarter and the other a five-yard second quarter score. Skylar Rand, who converted by kick after all five of Del Oro’s scores, also booted a 24-yard field goal in the second quarter. Del Oro outgained Whitney by a 218-64 yards margin and allowed the Wildcats just two first downs over the opening two quarters. Heatherington added 104 more passing yards to the Golden Eagles’ attack. Both Alex Bertrando and JV call-up Michael Moore added pass interceptions for the Golden Eagles. Playing without Rodrigues, the Wildcats’ do-everything quarterback who suffered a season ending leg injury in last week’s win over Cosumnes Oaks, and Connor Graves who left the game with a concussion he received during Whitney’s first possession, Whitney (10-3) never was able to get into an offensive flow. “I feel for Whitney not having Jake tonight,” said Del Oro coach Casey Taylor. “We were looking forward to go against him because he’s a great player.” Sophomore Kyle McCray, a call-up for the JV team, turned in a good effort at quarterback for Whitney considering the obstacles. “He did a good job,” said Whitney coach Mike Giminez. “After we lost Connor he’s all we had but he played fine. Our kids are down now but we had a great season.” For the Golden Eagles, the trip to next week’s finals will be Del Oro’s third straight and sixth visit to the title game since 2004. “We have a lot of work ahead of us to get ready for Oakdale,” said Taylor about the Golden Eagles’ upcoming opponent. “They have a lot of returning players so they’re on a mission just like we are. It should be a great game.” CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Div. III Semi-Final Whitney 0 0 0 0 – 0 Del Oro 14 10 14 0 – 38 DO – Monroe 1 run (Rand kick) DO – O’Sullivan 32 run (Rand kick) DO – O’Sullivan 5 run (Rand kick) DO – Rand 24 FG DO - Monroe 23 run ( Rand kick) DO - Monroe 40 run (Rand kick)