The La Sierra Eagles fell short Friday Night in an exciting shootout against Rialto. The Eagles excelled on offense with 444 total yards. Justin Esquivel lead the way with 243 yards passing, 2 TD’s through the air and 2 on the ground. The Eagles also rushed for 201 yards behind a career high effort from Pedro Gracian who rushed for 65 yards.
The Eagles jumped out to a 19-7 lead early behind two Julius Hicks TD’s and Elijah Randle’s 85 yard Kickoff Return for a TD. Unfortunately, the Knights responded with 28 straight points before the half scoring in all three phases of the game, a blocked punt, a strip and score and a couple rushing TDs to open a 35-19 halftime lead.
The Eagles responded quickly scoring on their opening drive in the second half to pull within 10 at 35-25. The Eagles fought hard and with 4 minutes remaining scored a TD on a short field after the Eagle defense forced a fumble. The Eagles Pedro Gracian rushed for a 10 yard TD to make the score Knights 47 Eagles 45. The Eagles converted the two point conversion to momentarily tie the game, but were called for a hold and were stopped on the subsequent retry.
The Knight put the game away scoring twice in the final minutes once on a long run and once again on a scoop and score. The Eagles showed great grit and determination in their comeback efforts, but fell just short.
Coach Garry Hedlund,”I am proud of the way we fought, we had many players go down with injuries, especially losing a couple of our captains during the game, but we did not give up. We made too many mistakes and the ball bounced their way a coupe times, but I am proud of our fight. Rialto is a tough physical team and both teams played hard. There are many positives from this game that we can build on.”
The Eagles head into their bye week looking to continue the offensive success from the first two games where they have put up 43.5 points per game. The will look to fix the small mistakes that cost them the Rialto game. Next week the Eagles travel to Bloomington a rematch of last year’s overtime thriller that the Eagles won 34-27. The Bruins are off to a great start ranking at #5 in CIF division 14 due to their 2-0 record. The Bruins battle the Rebels of AB Miller looking for their 3rd win of the season, which would outpace last years total.