After an exulting JV game in which El Dorado upset previously unbeaten Vista del Lago 16-14, the varsity Cougars fell flat in their matchup against the Eagles, losing 79-14.
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Vista gained quick momentum, scoring on its first play from scrimmage as Josh Pfeffer took a handoff 44 yards for a touchdown. After El Dorado’s second drive stalled, Vista cashed in as quarterback Jacob Dwyer ran for another score. After four more touchdowns and a safety, Vista had a 44-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
A couple quick strikes gave Vista two more touchdowns, building a 58-0 lead with most of the second quarter remaining, but the host Cougars kept fighting. After a long run by Derek Delfino earned the Cougars their first first down of the night, El Dorado capped off the long drive with a 22-yard touchdown pass from Bradley Schmidt to a leaping Zachary Culp in the back of the end zone.
After another Vista touchdown, Clayton Van Duyn took the ensuing kickoff 96 yards for another El Dorado touchdown. Vista added another score before halftime to lead 72-14.
“I think the important thing is that we didn’t quit. I saw the guys cheering on each other, enjoying the game regardless of the score,” Cougar coach Joe Volek said. “They kept their heads high.”
In the fourth quarter with a mandatory running clock, El Dorado forced a Vista fumble at the Cougar goal line, and recovered the ball. Vista added another touchdown later in the quarter for the only points the El Dorado defense allowed in the second half.
“I told the guys in the huddle afterwards ‘We got beat up badly, but we didn’t get knocked out’. In all my years of being Athletic Director here, I’ve seen plenty of El Dorado teams quit, but this one didn’t. We kept on fighting,” Volek said.