Vacaville outlasts Napa 35-14
NAPA - In a matchup of unbeaten teams in the Monticello Empire League, it was Vacaville that showed off a fleet of talented running backs and a pretty good passing game in a 35-14 win over Napa High School at Memorial Stadium on Friday night. Vacaville (5-3 overall, 3-0 MEL) took a giant step in its quest for a fourth straight MEL title by limiting Napa’s running game to just 42 yards and holding the Indians to two touchdowns. On a night when Napa High retired John Boyett’s No. 12 in a pregame on field ceremony, the Indians had their five-game winning streak broken. Napa (5-3 overall, 2-1 MEL) is still very much in contention for a CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoff berth. Wins in its last two regular-season games will go a long ways toward securing a high postseason seed for Napa. One of the highlights for Napa was the passing of Manny Aguirre, who completed 15 of 29 for 181 yards and one touchdown. Aguirre threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to Austin Aaron in the fourth quarter, accounting for Napa’s only points of the second half. Aaron caught five passes for 92 yards and Zach Jones caught five passes for 53 yards. Vacaville is the defending Sac-Joaquin Section Division II champion and has now won 19 straight league games. Vacaville came into the game averaging 319.6 yards rushing and 120.3 yards passing per game. Vacaville took a 21-7 lead at halftime. Neither team scored in the third quarter, with Napa’s defense turning up the heat. Napa forced Vacaville to go three and out on the Bulldogs’ first possession of the second half. Napa again held Vacaville, forcing the Bulldogs to turn the ball over on downs on their 26-yard line on their second possession. The Bulldogs broke it open when Jacob Te’o ran 38 yards for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter, capping a drive of 58 yards in five plays. Connor Kannelis ran 71 yards for Vacaville’s final TD on a play that originated on a pass from Nic Ardave to Rezen Anderson. It was Anderson who then pitched the ball to Kannelis. Vacaville scored on each of its three possessions in the first half. As advertised, the Bulldogs rolled out a fast-paced, explosive offense, scoring on drives of 65 yards in nine plays, 55 yards in five plays, and 58 yards in 12 plays to take a 21-7 lead at halftime. Vacaville played error-free football in the opening half, producing 10 first downs, 111 yards rushing and 62 yards passing. Curtis Goins had first-quarter rushing touchdowns of 4 and 1 yard, respectively. Vacaville scored just before halftime, as Jeremy Sweany caught a 5-yard touchdown pass from Ardave with 17.1 seconds to play. Vacaville had an answer for Napa’s rushing game, holding the Indians to just 22 yards. Aguirre kept the Indians in the game by throwing for 54 yards. Jones had a spectacular 4-yard touchdown run on third and goal as he dived into the end zone. Napa’s only score of the first half came on a 56-yard drive in 16 plays. The drive was kept alive by a 4-yard run by Jones on a third and 3, Aguirre’s 15-yard pass to Jones on a third and 8, a 2-yard run by Jones a fourth and 1, and a 2-yard run by Aguirre on third and 1. Goins carried 16 times for 111 yards, Kannelis ran for 85 yards, and Te’o had 50 yards rushing. Napa turned the ball over just one on its first drive of the second half. Napa turned it over on downs after driving from its 26 to the Bulldogs 42. The Indians turned it over on downs on the Vacaville 29. Dom Good recovered an onside kick following Napa’s fourth-quarter TD, giving the Indians the ball on the Vacaville 41. But Napa turned it over on downs.