It doesn’t work just to pressure Jack Weaver.
The East Union sophomore showed that if he isn’t brought down with a rush, he can scramble and he can dodge and he can dance just long enough for a play to develop and allow for him to connect with a receiver and extend a drive that nobody thought would be possible.
The more of those that he puts together, the more frustrated the other team gets and the less likely they are to compose themselves while this shifty back flashes around behind the line of scrimmage and lets an off-balanced throw fly 35 yards down field into the hands of a waiting receiver.
Because when nobody expects anything from you, you’ve got nothing to lose.
And that’s when you win games. Take, for example, the 28-21 home victory that the Lancers pulled out over an upstart Lathrop program that had just given Manteca fits two weeks prior. At that time Manteca head coach Eric Reis said that you can’t let a team like Lathrop keep hanging around or else something like this is going to happen.
But for Lathrop head coach Steve Wichman, the devil in the details had everything to do with the number of times that Lathrop turned the ball over.
“We were there and we were getting ready to score and we turn the ball over in the end zone and that hurts. You only have so much momentum that is going to break your way so when something like this keeps on happening, sooner or later you have to correct the mistakes,” he said. “We came back out in the second half and ended up turning the ball over three more times and they did something with it when they got it.
“Those are mistakes that you can’t make if you expect to win. It’s that simple. East Union is too good of a football team.”
Both teams traded touchdowns throughout the first half and trotted into the locker room at the break with the score knotted at 14. When Lathrop got the ball back to start the second half, and presumably mount a drive that could have sent a huge statement to the East Union sideline, it ended after a pair of incomplete passes and a another that went right into the hands of a waiting Angel Roblero. East Union scored four plays later when Weaver connected with Austin Miller for a 28-yard strike that gave the Lancers a lead that they wouldn’t forfeit for the rest of the night.
Even a quick response by Lathrop was met by an unusually strong East Union answer and another hookup between Weaver and Miller – this one from 5 yards to extend the lead to 28-21 at the end of the third quarter. Neither team would put any more points on the board.
“My hat goes off to Lathrop tonight because they’re a good football program and they’re well coached, but I’m proud of our boys and the effort that we put into this game tonight. We had a good game plan and executed it,” East Union head coach Willie Herrera said. “We had them prepared to play this like this was their Super Bowl – that’s how important this game was to our program. We pulled up nine sophomores for this game and we started eight of them, and to know that we have a group of kids like this that’ll fight until the end even when people tell them that they don’t have anything to play for – they’re playing for one another.
“That’s why they’re out here.”
Weaver has high hopes for the future.
“One can become two and we’re hoping to make a run at a playoff spot and do some big things that nobody ever expected,” he said. “We can do that if we believe in ourselves.”