// By Noah Glosson, Staff Writer
The Acalanes football team took a beating from a physically-talented Clayton Valley Charter High School. The Ugly Eagles defeated the Dons last Friday 49-3, marking the Dons’ third consecutive loss.
After falling into a 7-0 hole to begin the game, junior quarterback Nick Kresnak led his team down the field, capping the drive off with a 34-yard field goal from sophomore kicker Hunter Ridley.
Those three points would be the last on the night for the Dons.
Clayton Valley preceded to go on a tear thanks to a punishing run game, scoring 28 unanswered points to go up 35-3 at the end of the half.
The Ugly Eagles defense completely shut down the Dons offense, intercepting Kresnak three times in the first half.
On the opening kickoff of the second half, Clayton Valley’s returner sliced through the Dons kickoff team to take the ball deep into Acalanes territory. Clayton Valley capitalized with another rushing touchdown to make it 42-3.
Clayton Valley would eventually score once more to expand their victory, 49-3.
“I thought we gave good effort, clearly not the outcome we wanted. They were just bigger, faster, stronger,” Kresnak said of his team’s performance.
The Dons struggles mainly came on offense, as Kresnak only completed 46% of his passes for 118 yards, a season low. Star receivers senior Chris Rogers and junior Lucas Eppinger were held to a combined five receptions and a total of 36 yards. Senior receiver Anand Patel tallied four interceptions for 34 yards.
On the defensive side, junior middle linebacker Tommy Thrasher generated nine tackles. Senior outside linebacker Alex Cortessis put up three tackles and a sack.
The loss fueled further controversy about the nature of Clayton Valley Charter’s inclusion in the Diablo Athletic League (DAL). While Clayton Valley is similar to its league opponents geographically, it outstrips Acalanes in enrollment by over seven hundred students, and can pull in football talent from outside of the Clayton area due to its charter status.
Looking ahead, the Dons will be at home this coming Friday, Oct. 5 for the 2018 Acalanes homecoming football game against Northgate of Walnut Creek. Northgate will enter the game with a record of 1-5, having lost to Miramonte last week by a score of 55-0.
According to Thrasher, the team will continue to work hard heading into the remainder of its league schedule.
“We are just going to work to grind everyday, getting better all season,” Thrasher said.