The East Union Lancers have been down this familiar road.
A year ago, they finished their pre-league schedule at 3-0 only to falter come Valley Oak League play.
This season appears different, according to coach Willie Herrera Friday following his team’s 49-14 victory over West at Dino Cunial Field.
“I think this time we have the experience,” he said.
East Union senior quarterback Jack Weaver once again led the way, throwing for a pair of touchdowns and running for two more.
“Jack was consistent once again,” said Herrera.
The Lancers wasted little time getting untracked in their home opener, recovering the opening kickoff at the Wolf Pack 18 and scoring some eight plays later.
Weaver hit Jake Harries on the 4-yard scoring toss.
Harries returned the favor on East Union’s next possession, delivering a crunching block on Weaver’s run to midfield.
Devonta Scott capped the drive with his short touchdown run.
West (0-4) did reel off several big first-half plays to keep the game close.
Thomas Walters, for one, broke loose for a 69-yard gain, setting up Jake Hiltachk’s 6-yard scoring run early in the second quarter.
Jesse Anzar gave the Lancers the short field, returning the ensuing kickoff into Wolf Pack territory.
Isaiah Sholund reeled off a big run and Mason James followed that up by hauling in the short pass from Weaver for the score.
West’s big play came on special teams, with Damon Lakey coming with the strong return to East Union territory.
Moments later, Emmanuel Turners had a touchdown grab to close the gap, 19-14.
Weaver orchestrated another scoring drive shortly before the intermission, weaving through West defenders for 20 yards and getting his own number called on the scoring plunge.
Ahead 27-14, the Lancers opened the second half bent on keeping West off the scoreboard.
“We accomplished that goal,” said Herrera, who got big plays on defense from the likes of James, Andy Parcels, and Joseph Reynaga.
Stephan Demello had a stop behind the line of scrimmage and Sena broke up a fourth-down pass play in the end zone.
But it was East Union’s multifaceted ground game that controlled the tempo.
“We believe in sharing the wealth,” said Herrera, who used eight different ball carriers.
Isaiah Sholund and Patrick Sholund both found the end zone in the fourth quarter, benefiting from an offensive line led by senior guard Reynaga.
“We really don’t do anything fancy — we try to stick to the fundamentals,” he said.
As a result, the East Union ground attack racked up over 400 yards.
The Lancers will celebrate homecoming next week, facing Lathrop in the VOL opener.
To contact reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.