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Vista improves to 6-1 with win over River City

By: Matt Long Telegraph Sports Editor
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For the first time since the opening week of the season, Vista del Lago was in a tight game in the second half. On Friday night, though, they were the team to execute and pulled away for a 51-28 victory against River City. Vista del Lago improved to 3-0 in the Sierra Valley Conference and to 6-1 overall. “River City played really well and we let them hang around because we had opportunities to pull away earlier in the game and didn’t do it,” Vista coach Chris Jones said. “After they tied the game at 28, we put together a good drive that ended with a touchdown by Colin McCargo and that’s what we desperately needed.” Right after that, Austin Eberle recovered a fumble and scored to put the Eagles up by 14 points. “To score 14 points in that short span of time was big,” Jones said. “We’re capable of that and it happened at the right time.” The Eagles finish their three-game home stand on Friday when they face Galt, who have yet to win a game. The Warriors have lost to Liberty Ranch, 48-0 and to Cosumnes Oaks, 55-17, and are having a tough time. “We tell our kids all the time that how we practice and how we play dictate how we will finish the season,” Jones said. “We have to continue to improve each time we get on the field. If we don’t, it’s going to come back and haunt us, whether it’s two weeks from now or later on in the season. We have to continue to improve and get better this week.” Vista 51, River City 28 The Raiders didn’t allow Vista more than a two-touchdown lead in the first 24 minutes and began to put heat on the Eagles toward the end of the first half. AJ Gomez disappeared into a scrum of Eagle tacklers and somehow broke free out the other end and scored from 28 yards out to tie the game at seven. Mike Morales intercepted a pass that set up the Raiders’ second passing TD that cut the halftime deficit to seven. Sophomore quarterback Matt Jimison (27-32, 371 yards) threw three of his four touchdown passes in the first half — all for big yards. The first two went to Chris Cooper on 57- and 54-yard completions before Jimison connected with Tyler Kaim from 45 yards out. Josh Pfeffer tallied 119 yards on the ground and 91 more from the air to go with his first quarter touchdown. Kicker Anderz Mintz added a 31-yard field goal and junior backup QB Andrew Schantz ran three times for 56 yards and a score in his only series under center in the fourth quarter. “As soon as our sideline got in the game, our offense picked it up on the field. Being on the field, we can feel that presence. The D-line did a great job tonight,” said linebacker Nick Rametta, who was one of the main Eagles bringing the heat on the River City QB. “To be on top of the league right now feels great but we still have work to do.” JV Eagles 19, Raiders 14 The junior varsity Eagles were able to withstand a scrappy second-half effort from River City when the Raiders threatened on more than one occasion. After Ryan Wert found Daniel Morgan for a five-yard score, the Eagles led 19-0 in the third. The Raiders were able to force a pair of fumbles while scoring two touchdowns from inside the Eagle five to cut the lead to 19-14. Vista’s defense was able to limit the damage from the River City turnovers and hang on for their fifth win of the season. “We felt like this game was kind of a defining point for our team. Knowing that, we played together at the end and held on. It was a good win for us,” said Vista head coach Dennis Valencia. “In the second half, we got a little sloppy but we were able to hang onto it.” Nick Pecoraro contributed to this report.