Eagles show heart in win over LancersBy: Matt Long, Sports Editor
Vista showed grit, determination and resiliency in a 32-21 victory over Cordova last Friday in the season-opening game.
Things didn’t go that well at times, and the team lost players to injury at various points during the game, but the Eagles kept fighting and outplayed and outscored the Lancers 29-14 in the second half to win the game.
The fight, courage and heart the team showed in the face of adversity is what pleased coach Mike Struebing the most.
“The boys did a good job sticking together in the face of adversity,” Struebing said. “They played as a unit; they played together and trusted each other. Cordova had some big guys and our guys battled and took on the challenge. More than anything else, those are the things I’m most happy about.”
Vista quarterback Grant Patterson threw for 351 yards and four touchdowns to lead the offense. Chad Wilson caught two of those touchdowns and five passes overall for 88 yards. Nate Hollingshaus and Zach Corbitt each caught three passes and scored a touchdown. Nathan Zan hauled in five balls for 51 yards.
Ethan Menezes carried the load in the run game, as he rushed for 43 yards on 12 carries.
“We weren’t clicking on offense in the first half,” Struebing said. “We turned the ball over in the red zone on downs a couple of times, but no one panicked. They just worked their way through it.
“We can be more efficient on offense, but we had a lot of people touch the football. I think we had six different guys catch passes and had a number of different guys running the ball. We need to share the load like that.”
The Eagles will need more of that sharing, as the team lost three players to injury during the game. Evan DePetrillo, Mitch Northcutt and Ryan Tung all left the game with injuries and did not return. Finding their replacements for Friday’s game at Ponderosa will be on the agenda this week.
“Cordova is big and fast on offense and our guys engaged them and didn’t back down,” Struebing said of the defense. “We played a true team game. Ryan Tung had a heck of a game with two fumble recoveries and was in on several tackles before he got hurt. We’re going to have to find out who can replace him and Mitchell, along with Evan on offense.”
Ponderosa opened its season with a 64-6 win over River City. Struebing said the Bruins look big and physical on film.