MODESTO – They did what they were supposed to do.
Grace Davis, who had no problem moving the ball in short-yardage situations all night long, was at the 1-yard line and looking to punch it in for a score that would have put the game out of reach for East Union.
But with five minutes left in the fourth quarter, East Union stood firm, stopping quarterback Zach Magana from sneaking his way past the goal line.
It should have been a moment of pure bliss for East Union.
But on the next play, the Spartans blasted through the line and dropped Lancer quarterback Jack Weaver in the end zone for a safety and a 16-6 lead they would hold for the remainder of the game.
“We have to clean some things up,” East Union head coach Willie Herrera said. “We have to help ourselves out offensively and defensively. When we get an opportunity to make a play, we have to make a play.
“Our coaches work so hard to prepare and our boys are doing their best, we just have to clean some things up and it is on to our next game now.”
It wasn’t that the Lancers couldn’t get anything going.
Senior power back Angel Roblero finished four yards shy of the century mark; his 15 carries leading the team and setting a run-first offensive tempo that put them in position until the end of the game.
Weaver fired three unsuccessful shots into the end zone in the final 90 seconds.
But the sloppy play of the Spartans – 10 penalties and a nullified touchdown run severely cut into their overall offensive production – seemed to keep giving Roblero, who also plays inside linebacker, and the rest of the Lancers chances to keep their foot in the door.
“We just need to fix some mental mistakes,” Roblero said. “We came out pretty fast, but we just need to take care of the little things.
“We didn’t do too bad but the outcome was not what we wanted.”