MODESTO – East Union went 3-1 Saturday in the 2015 MJC Pirate passing tournament, losing only to eventual champion Downey A. The Lancers defeated Turlock 27-12 for second place in the South division and defeated crosstown rival Sierra 33-32 in a pool-play thriller at Modesto Junior College.
“These 7-on-7 tournaments are geared more toward the offense,” East Union coach Willie Herrera said. “But we do work on defense as much as possible, but no matter what the objective is to compete. It is about getting better and creating that chemistry between quarterbacks and receivers and there are a lot of good things you can take out of 7-on-7 tournament.
“It was nice for us to get that win against Sierra. It doesn’t matter by one point or 50, it is always good to beat somebody in town.”
As time was running down against the Timberwolves, Lancers quarterback Jack Weaver spotted Austin Miller in the left corner of the end zone for a 25-yard touchdown pass to tie the game. With no time left, Weaver and Miller combined for a successful conversion in the same corner for the one-point win.
“Jack (Weaver) said, ‘All go,’ so I ran straight and caught the ball,” Miller said of the touchdown. “It felt good but I am not satisfied though. It doesn’t start counting until the pads get on.”
In the second-place game against the Bulldogs, Marcus Panelo pulled in two touchdown passes from Weaver and Miller and Scott Morenzone had one apiece.
“It felt great out there,” Weaver said. “Our chemistry is working real well. We have been practicing hard all off-season and it is really coming together for us.”
The Timberwolves did not fare as well as their crosstown counterparts, dropping their first three games before defeating Downey B for fourth place.
Sierra coach Jeff Harbison saw Saturday as somewhat of an eye-opening experience.
“We got a lot of learning experiences out of today,” Harbison said. “We were able to see the character of our players and how they would react to adversity, which is probably the most important thing we got out of today. Some of our players did not act appropriately and they saw the consequences – they got pulled.
“Absolutely we want to win but what is more important is the reason we do these 7-on-7 tournaments is to get better and to learn from our mistakes and try and improve. And I think we are going to get a lot out of today.”
Sierra quarterback Mark Vicente was pleased with some of his team’s execution.
“We ran our routes well and caught the ball,” Vicente said. “And we will learn from the mistakes we made today and not make them later in the season.”