EL DORADO — Union Mine’s determination, pride and desire to finish on a three-game winning streak on Senior Night wasn’t a match for visiting Vista del Lago with its eyes squarely fixed on the Sierra Valley Conference title.
On the strength of 28 unanswered points, the Eagles overcame an early deficit to register the 42-21 win to end the regular season.
The Diamondbacks appeared up to the task in controlling the line of scrimmage, allowing Sean Tow (25 carries, 170 yards, three touchdowns) to chew up chunks of yards. Tow’s run up the middle for 57 yards and a touchdown gave Union Mine an early 7-0 lead.
The advantage quickly disappeared as Vista answered back with 28 straight points to take a commanding 28-7 halftime lead.
The Eagles had to earn their league championship. With Augie Ahuna and Hogan Fitzpatrick anchoring the line to open lanes for Sam Armanino, Jake Horn and Tow, the D’backs put together a methodical 87-yard drive in the third quarter, culminated with Scott McIntyre finding Tow on a sideline route for a 30 yard scoring pass.
While Union Mine entertained visions of a comeback, the Eagles quickly countered with two touchdowns to go up 42-14 midway through the fourth quarter.
As the clock ticked down, the D’backs’ defense continued to give everything it had up to the bitter end as Tyler Parker forced a fumble that Smith Purdum pounced on at the Vista 30 yard line. The offense turned the fumble into points as Tow broke through several tacklers and went 15 yards for the touchdown.