More in Sports:
- Football seasons ends with shocking announcement for Mesa Verde Mavericks November 10, 2019
- Bittersweet evening for San Juan Spartans, class of 2020 November 3, 2019
- Sports Recap: Here’s what happened in Citrus Heights football (Oct. 24-25) October 27, 2019
Marcus D. Smith—
The San Juan Spartans faced off the Rio Vista Rams in a home game on Friday night, while the Mesa Verde Mavericks traveled to Dixon for another night of Golden Empire League high school football.
Here’s a quick recap of each game, along with a look at what games are coming up:
Spartans vs. Rams
San Juan Spartans are on a two-game skid after losing against another uptempo team in the Rio Vista Rams, 61-20. Spartans trailed throughout the entire game.
On the night of their homecoming, they were held to just 13 points in the first half. After the first quarter the Spartans were looking at a 20-7 deficit, and ultimately never recovered.
In the second half, the story would be much of the same. The Spartans would only score one more touchdown on the evening. That score would come on a kick returned for a touchdown with roughly 11 minutes to go in the third quarter.
To that point the score was 40-20, but the Rams would further extend their lead in the third and fourth quarter with two passing touchdowns and a rushing touchdown.
San Juan High School will go on the road next Friday, Oct. 18, when they play Highlands High School. This game will be Senior Night for the Scots. Highlands High School comes into this at 1-1 in league play and 6-1 overall.
Highlands will be coming off of their second league game, against Golden Sierra High School. That game resulted in a 34-33 loss for the Scots, their first loss of league and the season overall.
The Spartans will look to end their two-game losing streak and find a victory in a tough Highlands environment. San Juan will continue Sierra Delta league play in this bout. The game will begin at 7 p.m. in North Highlands.
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Mavericks vs. Dixon Rams
Mesa Verde went on the road to Dixon to face the Rams on their homecoming night on Friday.
The Mavericks went back and forth throughout the game until the Rams pulled away late in the fourth, ultimately defeating Mesa Verde, 35-32.
“We just needed to relax, calm down, take a deep breathe and play football,” said Mesa Verde football head coach, Bryan Golder. “Nerves got in the way in the first half. Once they relaxed, they just played their game and I felt like they did very well.”
Going in to the half, the Mavericks were down, 14-12, but they came out striking. Behind an 85-yard misdirection run from Peter Silva, Mesa Verde took an 18-12 lead with 11:16 remaining in the third quarter.
Mesa Verde would only enjoy that lead for so long. The ensuing possession, the Rams would score by taking advantage of a huge hole in the middle of the defense and running the length of the field to take a, 21-18, lead with 8:17 remaining in the third quarter.
The Mavericks failed on the two-point conversion. This and other missed point-after-touchdown(s) (PATs) would end up being one of the stories of the game for Mesa Verde, and a key factor in the loss.
“[W]e had our kids ready, we just didn’t always execute. That’s the bottom line,” said Mesa Verde football defensive coordinator and assistant head coach, Kevin Tibbetts. “We need to execute, [extra points], there’s a lot of stuff that played in factor this game where we had every opportunity to win this game.”
Another key factor would be turnovers in the game, as the Mavericks had six turnovers overall in the game Friday night against Dixon. Five of them came in the second half behind three interceptions thrown and two lost fumbles.
Mesa Verde’s largest deficit came in the fourth quarter when they trailed, 35-18, with 3:30 remaining in the game behind a wide receiver end around play by Dixon High School.
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The Mavericks would not just lie down and take double-digit spread. They fought back to narrow gap. Mesa Verde would score a touchdown and add a two-point conversion to cut Dixon’s lead to a single-digit game, 35-26, with 1:05 remaining in the game.
On the next kickoff, the Mavs would opt for an onside kick and recover the ball back for their offense to take control. They took the nine point spread and cut it down even further to, 35-32, behind a run up the middle from J’Shawn Brown for a touchdown.
Mesa Verde would fail on their next two-point conversion with 16 seconds left in the game. Dixon High School recovered the onside kick after the failed conversion and would eventually run the clock out.
“We’ll turn it around, we have Mira Loma next week. We’ll be ready for them,” said coach Tibbetts looking forward to their next matchup.
Mavericks have an overall record of 4-2, and are now 1-1 in Golden Empire League. Their next opponent will be against Mira Loma High School. Mira Loma will come into this with a winless record, including 0-2 in Golden Empire League play.
Mira Loma is coming off of a tough shutout loss to Woodland High School, 62-0.
The Mavericks will host the Matadors on Oct. 18, kickoff begins at 7 p.m. This will be homecoming for Mesa Verde. They plan to make this game an all-blackout game to bring in their homecoming celebration.
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Sports Reporter Marcus D. Smith covers high school sports in Citrus Heights. Smith is a Sacramento-area native and earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism in 2017.
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