It was a metaphor for East Union’s entire season.
Three plays into its Friday-night contest with Sonora at Dino Cunial Field, two-way starter Victor Lopez went down with an ankle injury that sidelined him for the duration.
No more workhorse back to help carry the offense. No more outside linebacker to crash on the vaunted Sonora dive.
Whether it would have helped prevent the 49-0 thrashing that the visiting Wildcats doled out is uncertain, but it was something else that head coach Willie Herrera would have to find a way to work around with a corps of reserves that was already ravaged.
“It was all about assembling a M.A.S.H. unit tonight that could handle his workload. Fortunately, these are things that we work on in practice so guys are at least a little bit accustomed to being put in those positions,” Herrera said. “We had to go so far as change numbers on the guy that has been our starting guard and putting him in at tight end and running back tonight.
“We had a tough one tonight. They executed better than we did with that dive. And I know it might sound cliché, but I’m proud of our guys for facing the adversity that they did and not giving up.”
While Sonora’s physical triple option gave them plenty to work with on offense, it was a basic run package that inflicted most of the damage.
Sonora’s inside run gave the Lancers more trouble than they could handle, and just when tailback K.C. Brandsted would do his damage between the tackles the Wildcats would turn to either quarterback Zach Atwood or fullback Billy Kiriluk to finish off the drive. Together they combined for six of the team’s seven touchdowns.
Sonora (1-2 Valley Oak League, 1-5 overall) passed the ball only seven times in the contest and used the ground game to eat up valuable clock time.
The Lancers (0-3, 1-5) found some offensive traction early in the second half with a pair of drives that they sustained out with multiple first downs but were forced to punt before mounting a legitimate scoring threat.
“We’re going to work on healing up for the next week and getting ready for Lathrop,” Herrera said. “We’ll build off of the positives that we saw tonight and move forward with our season from this point. That’s all we can do.”