El Rancho Survives at The Ranch, 13-10

By Johnathan Saller

(Pico Rivera) – The Dons snuck by Northview when Safety Joe Sanchez snagged Vikings’ quarterback Victor Garcia’s pass with less than 30-seconds left Friday night at Don Memorial Stadium.

“Joe Sanchez is a special kid, a very special kid. He’s only a junior so he’s learning but you can see he can make something out of nothing and I can’t coach that,” El Rancho head coach Rick Zepeda said.

It was a fitting way to end the game as the Dons battled the officiating all night to come out on top. El Rancho intercepted Garcia three times, returning two of them for scores, however, they were both called back and one was completely wiped away on a suspect pass interference call.

“They took 14-points off the board,” Zepeda said. “I have never been involved in a game where the referees think they’re more important than the players. Those guys we’re nit-picking everything.”

The Dons got on the board midway through the second quarter on a 19-play drive. Sanchez, also playing quarterback, threw a dart to halfback Johnny Garcia for a 16-yard touchdown. The PAT was missed and the score was 6-0.

On Northview’s ensuing drive, it began with four plays totaling negative 27-yards. On third and long, a personal foul call against El Rancho gave the Vikings some life. It was quickly squandered when Garcia threw his first pick of the night to linebacker Cameron Valencia, his return for a touchdown was subsequently called back on another penalty.

Wasting no time, on the third play of the drive, Dons’ halfback Josh Lopez ripped off a 42-yard score making it 13-0 following the PAT.

In the second half, Northview battled back to get within three points after a monster 42-yard field goal. Running back Javon Taylor added to Northview’s tally with a 4-yard plunge to make it 13-10 heading into the fourth.

Late in the fourth the Vikings found itself at the 20-yard line going in thanks to some clutch plays and timely penalties. With Garcia under pressure, he dropped back and hurled a pass into the middle of the field toward the goal-line, Sanchez leapt up and sniped the rock out of thin-air and dropped to the ground to seal it with an interception for El Rancho


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