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Showdown with top-ranked San Pasqual leads to seventh consecutive football loss


November 07, 2013
"We need to find some answers," Valley Center varsity football coach Rob Gilster said as he hustled his team off the field at San Pasqual on Friday night.

The Jaguars had just suffered their seventh consecutive loss of the season in disappointing fashion, as the No. 1 team in the county coming into the week, San Pasqual, dismantled the Jags 41–0.

"They're really good, and we didn't put up a whole lot of fight," Coach Gilster added. "It's disappointing. I love my guys, but we didn't show a lot of heart tonight. We're riding this big losing streak and we need to find some answers and find a way to win."

On Friday night, the Jaguars found no answers to the question marks that have plagued the team all season, from the poor pass protection to the inconsistent tackling on defense and everything in between. But perhaps the most telling moment of the game came early in the first quarter on Valley Center's first drive of the game.

San Pasqual had just marched 74 yards down the field in 12 plays to score on a four-yard rushing touchdown. The Jaguars, needing a big drive to respond, had put together a nine-play drive that included three first downs, including a pair of key completions from Daniel DeLeon, the first going to Anthony Ricks and the second to Jared Gilster. But when the drive came to a third-and-eight from the San Pasqual 38-yard line, the Jaguars had two opportunities to convert and stay in the game.

Two consecutive passes fell incomplete—the first pass was out of the reach of Ricks on the slant, and on the same play on fourth down, DeLeon's throw hit Ricks right in the hands and the receiver dropped it.

For the remainder of the game, the Jaguars could get no closer than the Eagles' 31-yard line until the final drive took them as close as the San Pasqual 17. But even then, an interception in the endzone kept the shutout intact for the Eagles. San Pasqual opened the game with a touchdown to cap a long drive, and the Jaguars failed to respond when they couldn't convert on fourth down.

Four plays later, the Eagles were in the endzone again, this time scoring on a 30-yard pass that put them ahead 14–0 with just over a minute left in the first quarter. The Jags picked up a first down on the ensuing drive, but had to punt three plays later.

San Pasqual didn't even need to send its offense onto the field to score again, as the Eagles returned the punt 67 yards for a touchdown. The extra point clanged off the upright, however, keeping the lead at 20–0 with 11:18 remaining in the second quarter.

Valley Center got two more first downs on the next possession, but on third-and-ten from the San Pasqual 35, the Eagles got pressure on DeLeon and his pass fell incomplete, forcing another punt. The kick rolled out of bounds at the San Pasqual 13, but it took only four plays for the Eagles to hit paydirt again. This time they scored on a 76-yard run to take a 27–0 lead with 6:17 left in the first half.

Another Valley Centerpossession led to another punt, and once again the Eagles made short work of the ensuing drive. They scored on their fourth play, this time on a 33-yard pass, to pull ahead 34–0 with just over three minutes left before halftime.

The score remained the same at the half, and neither team could add any points for the majority of the third quarter, even though the Jaguars put together an 11-play drive that advanced as far as the San Pasqual 31. The drive stalled on a fourth and six from the Eagles' 32, and the Jags tried to convert with a pass from DeLeon to Gilster that fel l incomplete.

The lone score of the second half came with just over two minutes remaining in the third quarter, as the Eagles took advantage of a fumble recovery near midfield and scored three plays later on an 18-yard touchdown run. The ensuing drive for the Jaguars moved deep into San Pasqual territory to the 17, but after a sack pushed the Jags back to the 26, they faced a third-and-18. DeLeon was pressured in the pocket and scrambled away to find time to throw, but his pass was picked off in the endzone to end the threat and ice the game.

After winning the first two games of the season, the Jaguars have now lost seven in a row. They wrap up the regular season on Friday night at home against rival Orange Glen and will look to end the season on a positive note. Kickoff for Friday's game is set for 7 p.m.

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