Vacaville High School football wins playoff thriller over RocklinBY: MATT MILLER/VACAVILLE REPORTER
VACAVILLE - Drew Chitwood called it "the most remarkable sports moment I've ever had."Chitwood's interception with 10 seconds remaining helped preserve a thrilling 26-20 victory for Vacaville High School's football team over visiting Rocklin in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II playoffs."We just stayed focus on doing our job and the opportunity came my way to make a play," Chitwood said. "We played as a family. That's what won the game."Vacaville improved to 8-3 overall. The Bulldogs will play at No. 2 Rio Linda next week after the Knights shut out No. 15 Antelope 34-0.Chitwood thought he had an interception earlier on Rocklin's final drive but a pass interference penalty gave the Thunder new life. Rocklin drove to the Vacaville 30-yard line before the interception by Chitwood in the end zone came on fourth down. The Bulldogs' offense kneeled down for one more play and earned the win."They worked together and knew the challenge ahead of them," Vacaville co-defensive coordinator Mike Kassis said of the unit that he and Ryan Smith watched step up big time. "They put in the time in practice, watched the film. It came down to really wanting the game."Dulon Stevens added an interception and Connor Kanellis had a fumble recovery that set up a touchdown. Jeramy Sweany, Wyatt Faulkner, Chris Irving and Chitwood all had big hits behind the line of scrimmage.Vacaville had a large corps of running backs step up when Monticello Empire League player of the year David Mewborn went down with a leg injury in the second quarter. Mewborn did not play the second half. The Bulldogs rushed for 202 yards and had 164 yards in the air, all on the combination of quarterback Chad Hekking and receiver Tanner Donaldson.David Mewborn had a 3-yard touchdown run in the first quarter and Daniel Mewborn added a 6-yarder in the second. Donaldson hauled in a 60-yard TD pass in the third quarter. Kicker Alberto Escobedo had field goals of 30 and 34 yards to go with two extra points."The kids showed a lot of resiliency and did their jobs all night," Vacaville head coach Mike Papadopoulos said. "It was a great team effort in every facet of the game."Rocklin rushed for 95 yards and got 157 yards passing. Quarterback Logan Webb had an 8-yard touchdown run in the first quarter and had a TD pass on fourth down in the fourth quarter. Max O'Rourke kicked field goals of 37 and 38 yards and converted two extra points.