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Tough Homecoming loss for Trojans
YERMO • “The kids played hard, but we missed too many opportunities.”
That was the way head football coach John Stewart summed up Friday night’s Homecoming game at Silver Valley High School. The Trojans did indeed fight all the way down the stretch to hold onto a slight lead, but Vasquez scored with just 30 seconds left, and the Mustangs ended up on top, 24-19.
The Trojans held the lead for much of the match. After being held scoreless in the first quarter, Silver Valley broke onto the board in the second. Dante Fields caught a pass and ran it back for a seven-yard touchdown. James Liker’s kick was good, and the home team held a 10-6 edge going into the second half.
That was when the battle really began.
The Mustangs took the lead on a 10-yard touchdown pass with 8:16 left in the third, and when the two-point conversion was no good, Vasquez was on top, 12-10. On the next play, the Trojans made it to the 25-yard line, setting up their final score. This one belonged to Liker, who ran back the pass.
“That was a good catch-and-run, I was impressed with that,” said coach Stewart. “Liker is a threat every time he has the ball.”
When the kick went wide, it left the Trojans with a four-point lead.
A Liker field goal in the fourth put Valley up, 19-12, with 8:39 left to play. The Mustangs tried frantically to add to their score over the next five-plus minutes, but were denied by the Trojan defense.
The visitors’ efforts finally paid off with 2:51 to go, pulling them within a point, to 19-18. They tried for the two-point conversion and the lead, but the attempt failed, leaving the Trojans still on top.
“When they missed, I thought we had it then,” said Stewart. “There were a couple of times we could have put it away. There were four or five picks we should have had, but we couldn’t make the big plays and put them away.”
The Mustangs indeed refused to go away. With the ball just six inches from the goal line with 30 seconds left, Vasquez scored the game’s final touchdown. The run failed, but the Mustangs had the five-point lead. There was still time for the Trojans to make one last drive, but when a pass was intercepted with 23 seconds left, the Mustangs’ celebration began.
It was the Mustangs’ second win of the season and second in a row; Vasquez crushed Riverside Prep last Friday, 43-12.
“They’re a good team, their record is deceptive,” said Stewart. “This was a tough loss, you always want to win the Homecoming game. But we were still fighting at the end. The guys wanted it, they never let up.”
The loss leaves the Trojans with a record of 2-5.
Homecoming was also the final home game of the season for Silver Valley. There are three road games left, starting with a visit to Riverside Prep next Friday night.