By Noah Glosson, Staff Writer
// Thanks to another strong performance by junior quarterback Nick Kresnak, the Acalanes football team overpowered the Rodriguez Mustangs (Fairfield) and cruised to a 48-27 victory on Friday, Aug. 31. The Dons will head back from this two- game “road trip” and play Archbishop Mitty on Sept. 7.
On the opening kickoff, junior running back Jake Delaney returned the ball 64 yards from the one yard line to the Rodriguez 35 yard line. Five plays into the drive, Kresnak hit senior wide receiver Chris Rogers, who muscled his way to the end zone for a 7-0 lead.
Rodriguez took possession for the first time, but the Dons forced a turnover on downs, getting the ball deep in Mustang territory. Acalanes was unable to cash in, as the Dons offense also turned the ball over on downs.
The Mustangs took over again on offense, and promptly fumbled on the first play of the drive. Senior nose tackle Addison Early recovered the fumble.
With excellent field position, Kresnak completed a spectacular 13-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Lucas Eppinger, giving the Dons a 13-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Early in the second quarter, Kresnak handed the ball off to senior wide receiver Keaziah Smith, who took it 30 yards to the end zone.
After allowing a kick return for a touchdown on the ensuing kickoff, the Dons answered with another score of their own. Kresnak led his team on a six play, 60-yard drive, ultimately capping it off with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Eppinger.
The Dons then scored once more on a 30 yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Jack Muren, making the score 34-7 with six minutes to go in the first half. However, Rodriguez would march down the field and score a touchdown with 2 minutes left, cutting the deficit to 34-13 at halftime.
At the start third quarter, a bad snap by Rodriguez in their own end zone resulted in senior outside linebacker Alex Cortessis diving on the ball for another Acalanes touchdown. Rodriguez answered at the end of the quarter on a 1-yard rushing touchdown.
In the fourth quarter, Kresnak led his team on a ten play, 60 yard drive, hitting Eppinger in the endzone for Eppinger’s third touchdown of the game. Although Rodriguez would score once more, it did not matter as the Dons prevailed 48-27.
“My offensive line has been doing a great job these past couple weeks,” Kresnak said. “Everything is feeling right going into next week’s game.”
Kresnak had himself another strong passing performance, throwing for 304 yards and five touchdowns.
Eppinger was his top target all night long, finishing with a career-high of 122 yards on nine catches with three touchdowns. Smith added 125 yards and a rushing touchdown. Rogers and Muren both caught a touchdown as well. In the rushing game, Delaney had 9 carries for a total of 72 yards.
The Dons’ defense was just as good, allowing just 20 points in the game’s entirety, and forcing five Rodriguez turnovers, two of which were interceptions by junior defensive back Nick Pearson.
“Overall, we played pretty well on the defensive end,” junior middle linebacker Mikey O’Donnell said.
According to head coach Floyd Burnsed, the Dons managed to put up an amazing effort on both sides of the ball.
“I felt like we played pretty well. A lot of kids made a lot of good plays that gave us the victory. I feel like we did well overall,” Burnsed said. “Nick [Kresnak] did well. He has a lot of development to go, but he is coming along every week.”
Coming up for the Dons is a two-game homestand, beginning with Central Coast Section (CCS) powerhouse Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) on Sept. 7.
“Of course, our schedule is really difficult; we got Archbishop Mitty coming to town and a lot of good teams down the road,” Burnsed said. “We go in, and we really don’t worry about the opponent. We worry about how we play, and we want to play well.”