MODESTO — With five straight completions and a drive that included three first downs, the East Union Lancers came out firing Friday night against the Central Catholic Raiders.
But after an injury sidelined the team’s starting running back and the Lancers turned the ball over on downs, the Raiders wasted little time in showing why they’re undefeated in the Valley Oak League in a 48-7 romp that placed Central Catholic solely in first place.
“I love when we execute well, and I don’t love when we don’t execute well,” East Union head coach Willie Herrera said following the running-clock loss. “We had some bright spots, but we should have played better tonight. There were some things that we didn’t do, and there are some things we need to work on.”
The Lancers (2-5, 1-3 VOL) were forced to start eight new players Friday after injuries affected the team on both sides of the ball, and the early loss of Shane Crawford — who had ran the ball twice in the squad’s opening drive and hauled in a pass that helped keep the drive moving — forced the Lancers to turn to a platoon of backs while airing the ball out more than they normally would have.
With Leo Bonilla and Raylen Carter both already out with knee injuries and Crawford knocked out early, junior quarterback Eric Morales threw the ball 30 times for East Union. He connected on half of those passes for 157 yards and throwing only one interception.
The Lancers had only 11 yards rushing, comparatively.
“There is really no substitute for game experience, and when you’re starting eight new guys against a team like this you have to execute,” Herrera said. “We made some plays on defense tonight and we had some guys that stepped up for us. Everybody was happy to see Anthony Salcido, who we call ‘Lucky,’ get his first touchdown tonight.
“We get a much-needed break next week before we take on Sierra, so hopefully we can get some guys healthy.”
Central Catholic (4-0, 6-1) made scoring look almost effortless in the game’s first half, when quarterback Dalton Durossette connected on 9 of his 13 passes for 161 yards and four touchdowns — three of which came from distances of more than 25 yards.
Senior running back D’Angelo Bellamy hauled in a pair of Durossette’s touchdown passes, as did Sithri Price.
Central will host Weston Ranch next week for homecoming before heading into a bye week before finishing the VOL season with games against Kimball and Oakdale.
East Union now heads into a bye week before taking on Sierra and Manteca High in successive weeks.
C. Catholic 28 13 7 0 — 48
E. Union 0 0 0 7 — 7
C—D’Angelo Bellamy 33 pass from Dalton Durossette (Gallegos kick), 6:07.
C—Dawaiian McNeely 24 run (Gallegos kick), 4:05.
C—Kyle Jacklich 4 run (Gallegos kick), 0:53.
C—Sithri Price 35 pass from Durossette (Gallegos kick), 0:00.
C—Bellamy 16 pass from Durossette (Gallegos kick), 4:09.
C—Price 29 pass from Durossette (Conversion run failed), 0:41.
C—Evan Vieirra 8 run (Dane Juarez kick), 8:00.
E—Anthony Salcido (Jorge Ramirez kick), 4:55.