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Depleted Cougars put damper on Lancers’ homecoming night

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Depleted Cougars put damper on Lancers’ homecoming night

Weston Ranch’s Kenny Williams stretches out for a pass while Eddie Daube closes in.


POSTED October 6, 2012 1:18 a.m.

Things seemed to be clicking just fine for the East Union Lancers Friday night.

While the end zone eluded them for the first quarter, running back Mark Aguilar showed success with bursts for more than a dozen yards on three occasions and kept the chains moving.

And when quarterback Aaron Ramos connected with Jack Zeller for a score early in the second quarter, it looked like the squad was on its way to an easy homecoming victory against intra-district opponent Weston Ranch.

But the Cougars – heavily depleted from disciplinary actions handed down this week – rallied back to play the spoiler and hand the Lancers a 12-7 loss in Valley Oak League action at Dino Cunial Field.

Even with the win, Weston Ranch head coach Mike Hale wasn’t quite sure what to make of the performance.

“We had quite a few guys that weren’t with us tonight and that really affected our depth and I think that showed,” Hale said. “We had to try and find people to fill those spots and you can see that it was still in the infancy stages. I think that our defense really stepped up and carried us tonight, and we’ll have to see where we’re going next week.”

Weston Ranch (3-3, 1-2 VOL) immediately answered the Lancers’ first score when Alex Esan took the ensuing kickoff nearly 75-yards for a neutralizing score. The ensuing point after attempt was botched and left the Cougars trailing.

While East Union (1-5, 1-2 VOL) showed spurts of success on offense, they only put together one drive the rest of the night that included more than one first down – a testament to the Weston Ranch defense and its ability to keep the Lancers from establishing any sort of rhythm.

Once the Cougars got the go-ahead score in the fourth quarter – which came on a 19-yard John McDonald dash to the pylon – all the Lancers could do was hope that they could get close enough for an end-zone strike.

And they almost had their chance.

With just over four minutes to play in the game, the Lancers stopped a Weston Ranch drive to force a punt which would have given them solid field position and a chance to get the shot they were looking for.

But when Aguilar – who had already rushed for more than 100-yards – stepped up to field it, it bounced off of his shoulder pad and onto the ground where a waiting Weston Ranch defender pounced on it.

“The thing about these guys is that they always fight and give us 100 percent,” said East Union head coach Willie Herrera said. “There’s a big part of this tonight that’s on me. I need to a better job of coaching and I’ll take responsibility for this tonight.

“A guy like Mark (Aguilar) is a leader and a captain and he comes out and fights every single game and I know that play just killed him tonight – it would kill anybody that’s a competitor. But that wasn’t the game right there – we just didn’t come out and make the plays we needed to in order to win.”

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