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Del Campo responds to TD run with dominant play

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POSTED December 5, 2009 2:18 a.m.
FAIR OAKS — Third-seeded Sierra struck 13 seconds into its Sac-Joaquin Section Division III semifinal showdown against No. 2 Del Campo.

Running back Jarrod Daniels evaded one tackle and raced down the right sideline untouched for a 65-yard touchdown.

But that, along with Daniels’ 47-yard scamper on a fake punt that led to Anthony Hall’s 25-yard field goal later in the first quarter, was all Del Campo’s suffocating defense would allow in a 39-10 victory.

The Cougars (12-1) owned the final three quarters behind a stellar performance from multi-talented Ryan Dimino, dominant play at the line of scrimmage and of course a defense that came into the contest ranked third in the section in points allowed.

Del Campo will meet No. 1 Inderkum, which beat Sierra’s Valley Oak League rival and co-champion Oakdale 49-30 in the other semifinal, for the Division III title on Dec. 12 at Folsom High.

“That’s the biggest, strongest team I’ve played in high school,” said Daniels, who finished the final game of his record-breaking senior season with 136 yards on 16 carries. “They’re class acts, they play hard and from sideline to sideline and everyone on their team are great athletes.”

The UC Davis-bound Dimino — who plays quarterback, running back and linebacker — produced eye-popping numbers like he has all season: 29 rushes, 194 yards, four touchdowns; 3-of-7 passing, 106 yards, two touchdowns.

Dimino also picked off a pass at Sierra’s 6 and returned it 57 yards in the third quarter.

Stanford signee Eddie Plantaric, a 6-foot-5, 252-pound defensive end, picked up a sack.

“This is a great group of kids and they played with all of their heart,” Sierra coach Jeff Harbison said. “They have some Pac-10 players over there with some Pac-10 size, but our players have NFL-sized hearts. I’ll take that any day. They never gave up and never said ‘quit.’ They don’t know that word, and they played hard for four quarters.”

Sierra (11-2) was in good shape while trailing 14-10 after the first quarter.

Dimino capped a 10-play drive with a 2-yard touchdown run with 10:15 left in the first to stretch Del Campo’s lead to 21-10.

The Timberwolves countered with their own long drive starting from their own 11-yard line, but quarterback Adrian Valencia threw an interception to Tyler Larscheid on Sierra’s 12th play.

Sierra went on to punt on five of its final seven drives and was held to one first down in the second half, which was aided by a pass-interference penalty.

Linebacker T.J. Sataua recovered a fumble off a botched handoff in the final minute of the third, setting Sierra up at Del Campo’s 19. That was the only time Sierra got past the 50 in the second half, and Dimino ended the threat with his pick a play later.

The only area Del Campo struggled in was point-after conversions, as it missed its final three attempts.

“They got us on the first play of the game, and then on a fake punt,” Del Campo coach Mike Dimino said. “After that our defense played pretty good and we controlled the clock.”

Despite the sour end to the season, Sierra has plenty to celebrate about, including the first VOL championship and most wins in a single season in school history.

“This is one of those teams that will stay in my heart for a long time,” Harbison said.
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