EC Preps

BAKER AND MEREDITH KEEP NORSEMEN IN THE HUNT

2019 EAST COUNTY FOOTBALL

BY ADAM PAUL

ECPREPS.COM

VALHALLA 28, EL CAPITAN 20

RANCHO SAN DIEGO (10-25-19) – In what was a big game between the visiting El Capitan Vaqueros (1-8, 1-3) and the home team Valhalla Norsemen (4-5, 1-3) as it had playoff implications the Norsemen held on for the victory.

Prior to the Division III contest, the Norsemen paid tribute to one of their own in Paul Valadez who unfortunately passed away in January of 2016.

Valhalla invited the Valadez family to walk out to midfield where they would be a part of the coin toss and it was announced that Paul’s jersey #42 would be retired.

It was also senior night and Paul would have been part of the celebration so this was another incentive for the Norsemen.

Once the game began Valhalla went to work. They methodically moved down the field and only 1:20 into the contest Josh Meredith took the handoff and swept around the corner on a reverse and juked his way into the end zone for a 37-yard touchdown to make it 7-0.

After stopping the Vaqueros on offense on a fourth-down decision that backfired the Norsemen took advantage and Keegan Baker who tallied over 100 yards on the ground took the handoff and found his way for a score from 25 yards out to make it 14-0.

Looking like the game was going to get out of hand in the first quarter the Vaqueros finally responded moving down the field and also aided by a couple of flags into Valhalla territory and also a 50-yard draw play by Hauser.

With the ball at the 3-yard line Donny Green took the handoff and punched into the end zone to cut the deficit in half 14-7 with just over a minute remaining in the first quarter.

The Norsemen though would give the ball back and the Vaqueros would be in business but Hauser would throw an interception just before the half.

With the ball at the 40-yard line, the Norsemen took advantage and moved downfield where Baker scored on a 3-yard touchdown to make it 21-7 at halftime.

El Capitan knew they had to do something to get back into the game and they did after taking the second-half kickoff. Hauser took the snap and threw a short screen to Kevin Lavallais who followed his blockers and made his way all the way to the house for a 66-yard touchdown to pull within 21-14.

Now with the momentum on their side, the Vaqueros had more tricks up their sleeves as the defense came up big.

With under six minutes remaining in the third quarter, the Vaqueros would pull even closer to Valhalla when Hauser found Sean Dickson from 5 yards out to make it 21-20. The Norsemen were able to block the extra point attempt to keep it a one-point lead.

Both defenses stopped the others on offense but the Norsemen would add another score early in the fourth quarter when Baker again from 7 yards out extended the lead 28-20.

With the win, the Norsemen bolster their playoff positioning in Division III while the Vaqueros will take a wait and see approach as to what the other teams around them did.

Next week the Norsemen travel to Granite Hills while the Vaqueros will host the Grossmont Foothillers.

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