Strong second half lifts Vista over Lancers, 32-21By: Jason Reed
Vista del Lago got off to a slow start in the first half, but then turned things around in the second half to defeat Cordova, 32-21, in the season opening game Friday night.
The Eagles turned the ball over in the red zone three times in the first half and trailed the Lancers, 7-3, at halftime.
Vista head coach Mike Struebing said he told his team (during halftime) they have to continue to work hard and trust in the process.
“We felt we gave them some things in the first half and let them off the hook. When we have those opportunities, we’ve got to do a better job on that part of the field,” he said.
Vista came out in the second half and respond with a touchdown. Senior receiver Chad Wilson redeemed himself after dropping a wide-open touchdown on the opening drive. He caught a 38-yard touchdown from quarterback Grant Patterson and would go on to get in the end zone again from seven yards out after the Eagles’ special teams forced a fumble on the ensuing kickoff.
“I think I let my nerves get to me in the first half,” Wilson said. “When we went into the locker room, me and Grant sat down and talked because we knew what we’re capable of.”
Wilson’s second touchdown put his team up 16-7, but then the Lancers responded when Anthony Diaz caught a 16-yard touchdown from Johnele Sanders. Vista then went on to score 16 unanswered points.
Patterson finished the game with 340 passing yards and three touchdowns. All of his success came in the second half after throwing an interception in the red zone in the first half.
Patterson said a lack of trust was an issue for him in the first half, and part of the reason for why he couldn’t find a rhythm.
“There was a lot of opportunities that I missed by not trusting in my guys and myself,” Patterson said. “We talked it over in the locker room and we figured it out.”
Patterson connected with receiver Nate Hollingshaus on a 62-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter to put the Eagles up 32-14.
Struebing said he wants his team to be better prepared for next week’s game and not let scoring opportunities get away early.
Vista will travel to Ponderosa High School Aug. 24 to take on the Bruins in a non-conference game.