The visiting Brookside Christian football team stunned El Dorado Friday night, scoring its first touchdown just 90 seconds into the game as Knight quarterback Austin Caldron’ first three passes had the Stockton team on the board.
After the Cougars went three-and-out, Caldron’s 25-yard pass to Javier Rodriguez made it a 12-0 game with 7:20 left in the first quarter. From that point the game deteriorated into a penalty-ridden contest of incomplete passes, interceptions, fumbles and missed opportunities on both sides of the ball. But the Knights made enough plays count to hand El Dorado a 36-6 loss in the third preaseason game of the schedule.
The Cougars had just five first downs in the first half — two on penalties, another on three short-yardage passes over the middle from quarterback Bradley Schmidt to Derek Delfino and one on a 6-yard completion to Sam Osterhout. Delfino spun through the middle for a yard to convert on a fourth-and-1 and Zach Culp’s 15-yard reception late in the half kept a drive alive.
There were defensive highlights for the home team — Gage Raley’s stop for a 4-yard loss; sacks by Dakota Gautier (2), Alex Stark, Colby Harrington and Dan Rivera; Nate Hoffman’s touchdown-saving tackle after an El Dorado interception; and big tackles by Nathan Wheeler, Nick Thomas, Gavin Zirbel, Alex Olguin and Jeremiah Romero, who chased down Rodriguez and tripped him up to prevent another Brookside score.
“The kids played their butts off,” El Dorado coach Joe Volek said. “We’re nicked up and we’re young. The defense did a great job, but as coaches, we have to get better. We still have a ways to go.”
The Cougars avoided a shutout with a 12-play drive that spanned the third and fourth quarters. Delfino broke out for runs of 16, 11, 15 and two 4-yard scampers, capping off the drive with a 2-yard plunge into the end zone. He got help from Schmidt’s 9-yard keeper, Clayton Van Duyn’s 8-yard run and a 13-yard completion to Osterhout. Neither team converted a PAT or 2-point conversion in the game.
The loss drops the Cougars to 1-2 on the season. Friday El Dorado travels to Garden Valley to face intra-county rival Golden Sierra.