East County Sports

Olivieri, Iuli put gold star on victory

Antonio Olivieri takes off upfield for El Capitan Friday night. / photo by Billy Ortiz




By David Dickens



LAKESIDE (9-15-2017) – What a weather change on an overcast night, with temperatures of 70° or cooler, coaches and fans in their winter sweatshirts, football is definitely upon us.

El Capitan’s STAR IULI carries Friday night against Patrick Henry. / photo by Billy Ortiz

The last time the host Vaqueros we’re playing at home, it was not a happy crowd.

Tonight, as the fans of both teams filed into the stands, both the visiting and home fans were fired up as on paper these two teams were evenly matched or similar although El Capitan went into this game with a 1-2 record and Patrick Henry 0-3.

The Vaqueros out-slinged the Patriots, 42-35, behind senior “fill-in” quarterback ANTONIO OLIVIERI.

As the kickoff was sent, fans on both sides would remain full of excitement and even the announcer was cheering on the visiting patriot fans to stay fired up and both teams on the field responded.

The first quarter started out as a snore fest has both teams went three and out twice.

However, with 7:03 left in the first quarter, The Patriots would go up 7-0 on a 76-yard pass from quarterback Ethan Gomez to wideout Tyjhay Reid.

The Patriots would mount a long, sustained drive to burn off quite a bit of clock, and with a little over five minutes left in the first quarter running back Melvin Harris of Patrick Henry had a 3-yard run into the end zone for Patrick Henry.

Enough was enough as Olivieri rifled a pass to WR STAR IULI for 60 yards and to put the Vaqueros in scoring position.

On the next play, a quarterback keeper around the right side resulted in a touchdown for Olivieri on a 10-yard run, extra point good with 8;18 left in the second quarter.

The El Capitan defense was not giving up much on the ground, and played tough, as they held the talented Patriot offense to only two touchdowns in the first half.

Iuli Would finish with eight carries and 79 yards on the ground, but a big burst in the second quarter just wouldn’t go down as he had a big hard-fought 25 yards to move the Vaqueros closer to yet another score.

Three plays later, Olivieri tossed a 10-yard pass in traffic to Iuli and again the PAT was good and the game was now tied at 14-apiece with three minutes and 38 seconds left in the first half.

If the Patriots and their fans thought Vaqueros were done, they were not even close.

This team was going to win this battle.

Oilvieri was on fire as he threw another bomb to the right side complete to WR DYLAN BURKE for 42 yards.

Three plays later, a 15-yard dart to Iuli resulted in his second TD on the evening, with 38 seconds left in the half and again the extra point was good, and the Vaqueros after being down 14-0 would go into the locker room scoring three times in the second quarter and up 21-14.

The second half of this thriller would turn into more of the back-and-forth tennis match.

With 10 minutes and 14 seconds to go in the third quarter, a 5-yard run by Patrick Henry’s Harris made it a tie ball game early in the third quarter.

Antonio Olivieri scores a touchdown on Friday night against Henry. / photo by Billy Ortiz

El Capitan would return the favor on the next possession, as RB CONNOR ROOSA, picking up 5 and 6 yards here and there and even a long 18-yard run and a 44-yard reception.

Patrick Henry would win the battle in the third quarter, as they would score on a 1-yard quarterback sneak by Gomez, and take a 28-28 tie into the fourth quarter of play.

El Cap would score two more times and the Patriots with three minutes and 38 seconds left in regulation, a quarterback keeper by Gomez for a 2-yard touchdown would finish the scoring.

The El Capitan Vaqueros, still without their starting quarterback WICK HAUSER and RB YAPHET YOKELY, sidelined with the injury bug, but this team still looks dangerous.

This group has a bye next week and will face Granite Hills in two weeks… not an easy task.

“Every game is winnable and every game is tough,” El Capitan coach RON BURNER said. “There are no easy or gimme games from here on out. They are all tough games.”

Olivieri has his team at 2-0 with him behind center as the signal-caller for the interim and went 9-of-20 for 230 yards and a pair of touchdowns with no interceptions. He had 11 carries for 71 yards, and two touchdowns, as well.

Roosa made several great tackles,  and had 11 carries for 52 yards.

SS/CB CHANCE LOVATO had 2 interceptions on the evening, one of them returned for 21 yards. There were only 3 penalties for the Vaqueros for 17 yards.

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