The Vista Jr. Eagle midget football team avenged its only loss of the season on Saturday, defeating the Jesuit Jr. Marauders, 18-14, to win the Sacramento Youth Football championship.
The championship completes a 14-week journey with the motto “Relentless Pursuit of Team.” It also closes out the Vista Class of 2023 junior football career with a record of 19-1 over their final two seasons with back-to-back titles in 2017 and 2018.
Striking first after 30 yards in penalties against the Jr. Eagles, the Jr. Marauders took the lead 6-0 in the first quarter. Early in the second quarter, the Jr. Eagles began to impose their will on both sides of the ball, going into halftime leading 12-6 after a critical fourth down stop at midfield. With 47 seconds left in the first half, the Jr. Eagle offense executed the hurry-up offense to perfection with a 13-yard passing touchdown.
To open the second half, the Jr. Marauders tried to keep the ball away from the Jr. Eagles by burning the play clock to low single digits and grinding the ball between the tackles. Playing 11 hats to the ball defense, the Jr. Eagles gave the offense back the ball after the Jr. Marauders’ opening second half drive. The Jr. Eagles then went 60 yards on three plays for their 50th touchdown of the season and an 18-6 lead.
Midway through the fourth quarter and leading 18-14, the Jr. Eagles turned the ball over, putting the outcome of the game in the hands of the defense. The defense responded resoundingly, forcing misused time outs with great coverage adjustments and delay-of-game issues for the Jr. Marauders. On fourth and long from the Jr. Eagle 38-yard line, a sack was dialed up with 41 seconds remaining, sealing the game and back-to-back SYF championships for this amazing group of young men.
This title turns the page for the Vista Class of 2023, as they will now look to freshman Thursday night lights in 2019 playing for Vista del Lago High School.