Alexander: After 13 true victories, Aquinas football is stopped – Press


NORWALK — There comes a time in any season, in any sport, when a group hits a metaphorical wall. Aquinas’ football Falcons kept attack what seemed like a verbatim one in a Division 2-AA state championship diversion opposite Clayton Valley Charter High of Concord, and it was terribly unforgiving.

For 43 mins of a 48-minute game, Aquinas’ offense gained usually 68 yards. Even with a invulnerability that reason an competition underneath a deteriorate scoring normal for a 15th uninterrupted game, that wasn’t enough. And when Aquinas finally gathering to a score, on a 30-yard touchdown pass from Francisco Mauigoa to Isaac Handy with 2:59 left in a game, it was too late to make a difference.

Thus, Clayton Valley won a initial state championship in 3 attempts, 10-7 on Friday during Cerritos College. And Aquinas (13-3), a module that has won 4 CIF Southern Section championships this millennium, came divided dull in a initial shot during a state title.

It hurt. You could tell from a viewpoint of a Aquinas players as they knelt and watched Clayton Valley manager Tim Murphy accept a state championship prize in a postgame ceremony. And we could tell later, when Falcons players silently watched on one side of a warm-up margin as their conquerors acted for photos on a other side.

The physique denunciation of a underclassmen all though screamed a message: This will be us subsequent year.

“I still trust we had a lot some-more to go,” linebacker Romeo Ross, a junior, said. “Definitely, we still had a lot some-more room to improve. Every week we set goals for ourselves … We haven’t had a football diversion where we reached all a goals. We haven’t played a best diversion of football yet, definitely.”

This is, mind you, entrance from a actor on a group that won 13 in a quarrel and spent a final 6 weeks in win-or-go-home mode, winning 4 Southern Section playoff games and a informal championship diversion opposite schools with incomparable enrollments.

The sold fold Clayton Valley presented was a double-wing arrangement out of a shotgun formation, with dual using backs lined adult usually behind a line, and a third subsequent to a quarterback lined adult in a shotgun formation.

“That was unequivocally a small treacherous to stop, we know?” Ross said. “But we did come adult with a diversion devise and we were executing it. It was just, sometimes, we theory we were a small idle on a play, and they got a best of us.”

Aquinas’ invulnerability reason Clayton Valley’s underline back, Omari Taylor, to 51 yards in 27 carries and singular a Ugly Eagles (yes, that’s their central nickname) to 38 yards on 24 rushing plays in a initial half.

But Clayton Valley (10-5) awakened from a descent doze earlier than Aquinas. Taylor bulled his approach into a finish section from a 1-yard line with 1:24 left in a initial half. Shane Nelson combined a 35-yard margin idea with 5:15 left in a diversion for a 10-0 lead.

It reason adult since Clayton Valley enjoyed a 27:54 time of possession and had drives of 7:08 and 5:15 in a second half. Aquinas’ unsuccessful onside flog after a touchdown hermetic it.

There were times, generally in a second half, when both teams looked exhausted, and that shouldn’t be a surprise. The further of a informal and a state diversion to unchanging deteriorate and playoff games has combined what, in Aquinas’ case, was a 16-game grind. For Clayton Valley, it was 15 games.

In other words, teenagers were personification a homogeneous of an NFL unchanging season, or tighten to it. Finishing that grub in one square is a feat in itself.

For a Falcons this was a training experience. Their usually other bearing to a state playoff format was a informal diversion detriment in 2017 to Grace Brethren (and former Aquinas manager Josh Henderson, a man who resuscitated a Falcons’ module as their conduct manager from 2000-08).

Now they’ve gotten to a subsequent step. There’s one thing left to achieve.

“They kick some unequivocally good teams to get here,” conduct manager Jordan Brusig said. “They know they can contest with a best teams in California, and they’re going to continue to do that.

“They know it’s win or go home each week, and they know they’ve got to put their best bid out on a margin each week, and they do that. Every time we ask them to step adult and answer, they’re prepared to step adult and answer and play relentless.”

It didn’t work out Friday evening. And it had to be abrasive for seniors, such as Handy, Terayon Sweet, Sione Lolohea, Terence Fall, Diego Samaro, Oscar Montenegro, Mathew Gaeta, Tapena Tuitipou and Malosi Siania, who won’t get another chance.

But there are other lessons.

“These guys, when they leave this program, are going to be improved group for it,” Brusig said. “I know football is over, though life’s not over for them. They have their whole lives forward of them, and we wish they schooled something profitable from their time with us.”

@Jim_Alexander on Twitter

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