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Vacaville ‘sticks and flicks’ Napa
NAPA - Offensive coordinater Chris Santopadre dusted off an old play out of his file and fullback Connor Kannelis was suddenly sprinting down the sideline untouched for a touchdown. Santopadre broke out the hook-and-lateral, or as he called it, “the stick-and-flick.” Quarterback Nic Ardave hit receiver Tyler Cummins with a short pass and Cummins flipped the ball to Kannelis, who tore off for a 71-yard touchdown run with 9:20 remaining in the game. Vacaville High School’s football team rolled to a 35-14 win over Napa on Friday night. The play helped stave off any momentum for Napa and put the Bulldogs in the driver’s seat en route to what they hope is another Monticell Empire League title. Vacaville is now 3-0 in the MEL and 5-3 overall. The Bulldogs host Rodriguez next Friday before closing out the regular season at Tom Zunino Stadium against Will C Wood. “We’ve had that play for seven years, but this was the first time we decided to run it,” Santopadre said. “We had to make sure it was the right time.” Added Kannelis, “I don’t get to run outside too much, being a fullback.” Vacaville rushed for 223 yards and added 150 passing yards in the victory. Curtis Goins rushed for 126 yards on 16 carries and had touchdown runs of 4 yards and 1 yard. Ardave hit tight end Jeremy Sweany with a 5-yard touchdown pass. Jacob Te’o also broke away with a 38 yard touchdown run. Alberto Escobedo converted all five extra points. “The kids rose to a big challenge against a big, physical team,” Vacaville head coach Mike Papadopoulus said. “It’s a testament to how hard they worked this week.” Napa was able to pass for 192 yards, but Vacaville stuffed the run and held the Indians to only 35 yards on the ground. Defensive coordinator Mike Kassis credited the play of Kenyan Clay, Te’o, Nick Lacey, Sweany and Kannelis as the top standouts. Vacaville led 14-0 in the first quarter on Goins’ two touchdowns. Sweany’s catch made it 21-7 at halftime. Te’o and Kannelis’ “stick-and-flick” finished off the scoring in the fourth quarter. Zach Jones had a 5-yard touchdown run in the second quarter for Napa. Quarterback Manny Aguirre and Austin Aaron hooked up on a 25-yard score in the fourth quarter.
BY MATT MILLER: VACAVILLE REPORTER