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Vista del Lago guns past Placer 56-14 in preseason football finale

By: Ike Dodson of the Auburn Journal
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Vista del Lago senior quarterback Brent Schaeffer entered Friday’s contest with host Placer as one of the premier signal callers in California, ranked top-15 in yards, completions and touchdowns on maxpreps.com.

After a 56-14 drubbing of the Hillmen, Schaeffer will need wings to control his ascent up the rankings. The Eagles QB completed 20 of 27 passes for 401 yards and six touchdowns.

 “Our guys made some great plays when there wasn’t a whole lot there,” Vista del Lago coach Matt Struebing said after the win. “Placer is very well coached, they are tough kids.”

Vista advances to 3-2 on the season while Placer falls to 1-4. Both teams have 14 days to enjoy a week No. 5 bye and prepare for conference action Oct. 7.

“It’s always nice to get a win going into the bye week ― you feel good about yourself,” Struebing said. “We will look at film and try to identify the things that need to get corrected, and try to take care of that next week.”

Hillmen coaches have other plans for the tape of Friday’s game, Placer’s worse defeat since a 46-0 loss to Rancho Cordova in 2003.

“Just burn film and move on. It’s just one of those nights that we are going to forget about.” Placer coach Joey Montoya said. “We know we are a lot better than that.

“We’ve been every blessed over the the years to not experience this, so its going to be a great teachable moment for all of us — and  tonight its over and were going to literally move on. It’s still great to be a Hillmen.”

Schaeffer found Brendal Hall for a 34-yard touchdown on the fourth play of the game and made the connection a habit. Hall ended with 13 catches for 198 yards and four touchdowns.

Brendan Pugh also gashed Placer in throws down the middle of the field, landing three catches for 126 yards and a score. Blake Tuter had four catches for 69 yards and a touchdown while Schaeffer also ran five times for 55 yards and a score.

Vista outgained Placer 503-346, forcing six punts and recovering two Hillmen fumbles.

Placer sophomore quarterback Michael Stuck completed 11 of 25 passes for 168 yards. He hit Hugh Hanson five times for 114 yards. Hanson nearly scored on the final play of the first half, but Placer coaches let time slip away on Vista’s three-and-out deep in Eagles territory, and Hanson was tackled at the 1-yard line after time expired.

Mario Perez ran for a 54-yard jaunt late in the third quarter and ended with 12 rushes for 105 yards and a touchdown. Mikey Ferreira bolted for a 49-yard score on Placer’s first possession, but went down with a knee injury after returning a kick.

Placer JV 46, Vista del Lago 12

The Hillmen, now 5-0 in the 2016 preseason, rolled to another big win Friday.

Marshall Chapman ran for three touchdowns while Ryan Arnel broke loose for a 50-yard rushing score and a 65-yard fumble-return touchdown.

Ian Howes had two interceptions, including a one-handed grab after a Vista del Lago deflection.

Placer was up just 20-12 at the half, but rolled to 26-straight points in the second half.

“It was nice that we got into a little bit of a battle and came through and played strong,” Placer coach Dean Pietromonaco said. “We have not been in any wars this year, and it’s nice that this team came at us in the first half and we pushed through it and showed we were the dominant team.”

Placer freshman 41, Vista del Lago 14

The unbeaten Hillmen squad (4-0) jumped ahead 34-7 at halftime and never looked back.

Hans Grassman scored two touchdowns while Andy Alvarez, Logan Groth and Isaak Smith managed to get into the end zone.
“I just think our focus is on getting better each week,” Placer coach Jim Packheiser said. “We are getting better at executing and our offensive line is as good as it has ever been.”

Packheiser said Kyle Christensen, Jackson Sabins and Evan Robinson have made big contributions on the offensive line.