De Soto wins over Pacific, 26-13. Pretty ugly game for both teams.
De Soto took the ball on the opening drive and probably surprised everyone with a no-huddle, wing-T look. During pregame I was a little surprised to find I out I was 'snapping' under center rather than from shotgun. Then we broke out the option series and I went from little surprised to very.
Coach Thompson's is starting his 6th season at De Soto. The first year, he ran a very simple near/far offense and just tried to kill the clock. They had 1 victory on the season. The next season, the offense was changed to a spread veer. The team won 8 games. I came onboard after that...I believe we have won 19 games over the past three years running essentially the same stuff.
We score on the first drive and miss the extra point. 6-0. Pacific, led by former NFLer George Hinkle (his son being a DE and OT on the team) answered on the next drive and hit the XP. 7-6. De Soto's next score would come from a PICK 6 by the De Soto quarterback/corner. The 2 point conversion would be no good. That would be the score at the half.
De Soto would aid in Pacific's efforts with a fumble and then a miscue in the secondary. The result was a touchdown pass that put the Pacific Indians up 13-12. The extra point clanged off the left upright.
The Dragons would march down the field to close out much of the 3rd quarter. A surprise deep ball to the endzone resulted in a very smart pass interference play. The defensive back ran right into the waiting arms of the receiver in the endzone rather than try and turn to find the ball. A 15 yard penalty is better than risking giving up the score, in my opinion anyhow.
It paid off as the Dragons turned the ball over on downs at the Indian 5 just before the 4th quarter started.
It looked like the Indians could potentially seal this game off as they moved the ball slowly up field, but the soph QB fumbled the ball away at the Indian 35. A few wing-t plays later, the Dragons pulled out a trick play and threw a halfback pass to the endzone. The pass floated allowing the defense to react. The end caught the pass, but was quickly knocked down and the ball bounced away. The referees discussed it briefly and then ruled it a touchdown. Considering it was the winning score, it was a critical call by the referees, and I'm not sure it was the right one. I wish I was in the film room now to see it (instead I came home for baby duty). The 2 point conversion was good. 20-13, De Soto.
The Indians moved the ball well but stalled around the Trojan 40. With a 3rd and 15, the Indians were called for holding on an incomplete pass. Instead of declining the penalty, the Dragons chose to take the 3rd and 25. I personally didn't like that decision. They're down a score with 9 minutes to go. They're likely going to punt and try to stop you on offense. Even if they don't I like my chances of them not gaining 15 yards on one play.
The Indians come out with an empty formation, the first time they showed it all game. I expected a time out to be called, but it didn't happen. Just as I expected, the coverage was broken as a result. They didn't get all 25...just 20.
Ball on the 30, 5 yards to go...Hinkle elects to pooch punt. I have to assume he regrets that decision now. It was honestly a great pooch punt. It died at the 5 yard line. 8:30 to go. De Soto took 8:26 to score the final touchdown, running the ball the entire drive. 26-13.
Normally, Coach Thompson doesn't try to score that last touchdown and takes a knee to end the game. I've seen him do that at least three times in my time there. I think there may have been some payback from last season in that.
Last season, Coach Thompson put in the 2nd string while up 39-14. Turning the ball over on downs deep in Pacific's territory, Coach Hinkle kept his starters in and everyone ran fly routes. They connected to score just before the end of the game.