LOOMIS– Del Oro head coach Jeff Walters says his team is not worried about any distractions leading up to the Golden Eagles’ 2018 playoff debut.
It clearly was evident that his team was not worried either.
The No. 1-seeded Golden Eagles stormed through visiting No. 8 Tracy in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division II quarterfinal in Loomis Friday, 36-7.
Aiden Foster scored three touchdowns for the Golden Eagles, who are headed to the D-II semifinal and a date with No. 5 Jesuit Nov. 16.
“We just believed in the process,” said Walters. “A lot has been made of the scores in our last few games, but we know we’re a good football team. We just try to focus on the next play… We just talked about being in the game, taking care of what we can take care of and not worry about the distractions.”
Senior Jaden Gravatt scored his first two touchdowns of the season to add to the dominant Del Oro run game.
In the third quarter, already shutting out the Bulldogs, Del Oro turned up the defensive heat. Sierra Foothill League Defensive Player of the Year Tatuo Martinson came up with an interception midway through the period.
The 6-foot-2, 255-pound linebacker’s first pick of the season led to Foster’s third rushing touchdown of the game and a 29-0 lead in the third quarter.
The Golden Eagles made sure to establish a superior ground attack against a tough Bulldog team from the 209.
Foster got the scoring started for the Golden Eagles in the first quarter with a 6-yard run. Dante Pericin provided the two-point conversion for an early 8-0 Del Oro lead.
Later in the quarter, Gravatt scored his first of two touchdowns of the season to extend a 15-0 cushion for the Golden Eagles.
Del Oro was anxious to shake off a 40-0 pounding from Folsom a couple weeks ago in the regular-season finale for the Sierra Foothill League title.
“I think it was the grind of the season catching up with us,” said Walters. “The bye week gave us a chance to get healthy. We’ve played some pretty good teams in the last few weeks.”
Del Oro will have another good team in the semis in No. 4 Jesuit, who avenged an earlier loss this season to No. 5 Granite Bay, in the D-II semifinals Nov. 16. Jesuit looked dominant for the second straight week. After a 49-7 opening-round win over No. 12 Woodcreek, the Marauders routed the Grizzlies Friday to a tune of 42-0.