Kimball High might be the best two-win team in the entire state.
So says Willie Herrera after his East Union High Lancers were drubbed Friday by the Jaguars at Dino Cunial Field, 53-28.
“They have so many athletes. They did a good job executing (on both sides of the ball),” he said.
Kimball, in the process, amassed 519 yards of offense in the Valley Oak League affair. Running back Evan Owens tallied 136 yards on seven carries with three touchdowns. He scored on runs of 8, 37 and 62 yards.
Quarterback Zach Johnson was not only an efficient passer – he completed 7 of his 9 passes for 130 yards including a 42-yard bomb to Charles Walker in the second quarter – but was also a threat running the ball.
He eluded tacklers while zigzagging through Lancer defense en route to a 34-yard TD run in the third quarter.
East Union (1-4, 1-7) showed promise on its first play from scrimmage. Senior running back Mark Aguilar broke loose on a 68-yard run, getting stopped inside the Kimball 5. Three plays later, quarterback Aaron Ramos connected with Eddie Daube on a 5-yard scoring toss.
Nick Pulos’ extra-point kick made it 7-0, Lancers.
Moments later, East Union defensive lineman Julio Bautista recovered a fumble. The Lancers, however, were unable to capitalize on the mistake and were forced to punt.
The Jags’ punt returner Damon Jackson sprinted across the field before finally being stopped at the Lancers 7. From there, Alex Toledo scored on a 3-yard run.
Zach Orr’s extra-point kick knotted the game at 7-7.
On its next possession, Kimball displayed its aerial attack. Johnson, who opened the game by completing his first seven passes, hit Walker in stride for the go-ahead score.
The Jags’ next score was made possible, in part, by Christian Lopez’s interception. Logan Finley came up with a nifty one-handed grab of Johnson’s 29-yard pass.
Owens scored the first of his TDs. He had another long run early in the second quarter while helping Kimball (2-3, 3-5) take a 21-7 lead.
The Jags increased their lead as Johnson and Toledo added back-to-back scores.
By halftime, Kimball had a 34-7 edge.
East Union opened the second half with Daube recovering the onside kick. He then caught a 43-yard pass from Ramos, in turn, setting up Ramos’ 1-yard TD run on this rather impressive drive.
But it didn’t take long for the Jaguars to answer back. Owens broke loose for another TD, giving his team an insurmountable 40-14 lead.
Issa Yusuf of Kimball came through with an interception. Johnson seized the opportunity by scoring on a 34-yard scramble.
East Union closed the gap on Aguilar’s 11-yard scoring run in the third.
In the final quarter, the Kimball reserves were also able to move the ball. Mirro Bidanian, for one, made the most of his playing time, scoring on a 1-yard plunge to give his team a 53-21 advantage.
Victor Lopez came in for the Lancers. He found some daylight on the left side of the field, racing 63 yards for the TD.
“Our guys showed no quit today,” Herrera said. “They kept playing hard despite the score.”
He praised his quarterback Ramos, who completed 11 of his21 passes for 129 yards. He also rushed for 33 more yards.
“It’s too bad we couldn’t do more to support his efforts,” said Herrera.