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Dons football wins in comeback fashion

Also: Foothill volleyball claims Royal Classic crown

The sign of a good football team isn't necessarily how they perform when their best lineup is functioning, but rather how they deal with the inevitable adversity they face over the course of a season.

Such was the case Amador Valley faced last Friday when it took on Granada. With key players missing all over the field, the Dons and coach Danny Jones went on a massive Band-Aid mission and pulled it off, beating the Matadors 21-14 to improve their record to 2-3.

"This was just a good team win," Jones said. "That was the biggest part of this -- it was a sweet team win."

So how altered was the Amador lineup? Jones had to go with a running back at quarterback, a tight end at running back and a center moving to fullback. Oh and by the way, they put in a new offense two days before the game.

"We didn't throw one pass the entire game," Jones said. "We went with the Wildcat lineup."

Jones had Tore Wiley at quarterback, Brandon Larson at running back and Mason Bartolo at fullback. As expected, things didn't flow on offense at the beginning. In fact, Amador was down 14-0 at the half.

But that all changed and changed rapidly in the third quarter.

Ndem Okoro blocked a Granada punt and the Dons scored, making it 14-7. After a big defensive stand, the Dons got the ball back and took all of one play to tie it up. This time, Okoro took the fly-sweep and rolled 40 yards to make it 14-14.

"It seemed like we scored 14 points in like 30 seconds," Jones said.

The game went to the fourth quarter tied, and it was the Amador defense that had kept the Dons in the game that turned the trick for the game-winner.

The Granada quarterback, who had been harassed by the Amador defense all night, was trying to escape pressure yet again and tried to get the ball away with his left hand.

Instead of getting the ball to a place where no one could catch it, he found Amador lineman Max Moore, who made the interception and went 60 yards for what turned out to be the winning score.

"Our defense was phenomenal and kept us in the game," said Jones, whose Dons host San Ramon Valley (3-1) this Friday night.

Volleyball

The Foothill girls volleyball capped an outstanding week by taking the title of the Royal Classic in Simi Valley last weekend.

The Falcons opened the tournament beating Downey (26-24, 25-16) and Royal (25-13, 25-17). In their third match, the team fell to Notre Dame-Sherman Oaks (25-22, 23-25, 15-17) but advanced to the playoffs.

After beating Granada Hills and Frontier to advance to the finals, Foothill faced a rematch with Notre Dame. This time the Falcons came out on top, taking the tournament title 25-20, 19-25, 15-9.

Kate Goto and Andreea Paduraru were named to all-tourney team and Kellie Hughes was named tournament Most Valuable Player.

Earlier in the week, Foothill beat Amador 3-1 and Dougherty Valley 3-1.

Water polo

The Amador girls team continued its winning ways last week with three convincing wins over American 17-3, Alameda 11-7 and Dougherty 18-1.

At the halfway point of the season, the Dons had an overall record of 9-3.

Miara Pipe continues her outstanding performance tending goal and combined with the field play by Alyssa Bergmann, Lauren Coching and Talia Florio, the Dons stingy defense only allows six goals per game.

The Dons are also performing well on the offensive side, with strong performances by Mia Battilega, Nikki White and Lauren Mililgan. The team is currently averaging 12 goals per game.

To all fall athletic programs: Please make sure to have a team representative email your weekly results by each Sunday to me at acesmag@aol.com.

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