Diamondbacks bite Eagles, win 27-7

By: Jim Ratajczak, The Telegraph
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EL DORADO HILLS—The Vista del Lago varsity Eagles were dealt their seventh loss of their inaugural season Friday night, this one at the hands of the Union Mine Diamondbacks. But the game’s final score, 27-7, doesn’t tell the whole story. It was a game the Eagles could, and probably should, have won. “The first half of the game, we played extremely well,” said Vista head coach Chris Jones. “But we fizzled out.” Union Mine had the game’s first scoring opportunity with the ball on the Vista 10 but missed the field goal. Vista took this momentum and ran with it, as Eagles running back Trey Hairabedian, who led the offensive attack downfield, took the handoff from quarterback Anthony Mull in for a touchdown late in the first. But in the second quarter, linebacker Kody Kenworthy picked the first Mull’s four interceptions at the Vista 49 yard line, scored on a handoff moments later and the teams went into the half tied at 7 apiece. With 9:47 left in the third, Kenworthy picked off Mull’s pass once more and, with only Mull to beat, ran the ball into the end zone, giving the Diamondbacks a 14-7 lead. Neither team put points on the board for the rest of the third, thanks in part to stout defensive efforts and penalties. However, the game came to a screeching halt in the fourth when Vista defensive standout Nick Marshall was injured trying to keep Union Mine running back Mike Rigsby from reaching the end zone. Play was stopped for several minutes and a hush fell over the crowd as Marshall lay on the ground, flanked by trainers and coaches. Eventually, he was carried off the field in a stretcher by emergency medical technicians. When play resumed, Union Mine had a 20-7 lead. But it was obvious the Vista team had lost focus. “He’s one of our main leaders on defense,” said tight end Ricky Loewen of Marshall. “We were all worried about him. It looked like his neck was really injured.” “That was hard,” said Jones. “That takes a game and brings it to a screeching halt.” Vista team officials said Marshall was responding well and that he was taken off the field as a precaution. The Diamondbacks scored for the final time on another Mull interception, this time by Rigsby. In many ways, it was a frustrating game for Vista. But Jones still hopes to build on the experience. “We did a lot of really good things,” he said. “We talk about and try to emphasize doing a lot of things well.” The Eagles will travel for their final game of the season Saturday against Christian Brothers. Although Vista’s sole wins came in Saturday wins, Jones anticipated a week of intense practice. “We’ve talked to the kids about getting ready to compete against a team battling for a playoff spot,” he said. JV at a glance The junior varsity Eagles suffered their fourth loss in five contests Friday night, dropping their game against Union Mine 35-6. The only points for the Eagles came late in the third when wide receiver David Slayton caught a touchdown pass from quarterback Henry Kozlowski.