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Timberwolves come back, beat Golden Eagles

Del Oro squanders another late lead, is eliminated from playoffs
By: Eric J. Gourley, Journal Sports Writer
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LOOMIS — After a second straight heartbreaking Sierra Foothill League defeat eliminated the Del Oro football team from playoff conention, a rain-soaked Casey Taylor stood pondering another late lead relinquished by his Golden Eagles. Critical penalties led directly to two Woodcreek touchdowns and the visiting Timberwolves scored the game-winner with four minutes left to pull out a 24-21 comeback victory that spoiled Del Oro’s homecoming, eliminating eliminated Del Oro from playoff contention. The Eagles (2-6, 0-3 SFL) have squandered leads in five of their six losses this season, blowing second-half advantages in four of those five. “It’s a disappointing loss and a game that we needed but didn’t do it,” Taylor said. “What can you do?” It was Del Oro’s second consecutive three-point loss, following a 38-35 defeat at Roseville last week. Woodcreek (5-3, 3-0 SFL) and Roseville (6-2, 3-0) sit tied atop the SFL standings. If Granite Bay beats Oakmont or if Del Oro downs Rocklin this week, the Grizzlies can clinch the league’s third and final Sac-Joaquin Section berth. The Eagles led by as many as 11 in the second quarter Friday when quarterback Mason Magleby’s 4-yard touchdown scamper extended Del Oro’s lead to 14-3. But Magleby threw an interception into the end zone on the next drive that shifted all momentum to the Timberwolves. Woodcreek’s Mike Jones came up with the pick that led to touchdowns on his team’s next two drives to give the Timberwolves a 17-14 halftime edge. Magleby capped an eight-play, 65-yard scoring drive with a 2-yard keeper midway through the third quarter to regain the lead for Del Oro, 21-17, but a fumble by the Eagles’ sure-handed quarterback with 6:28 left in the game put Woodcreek in prime position to win it. Del Oro was flagged for pass interference on the Timberwolves’ second-and-10 play at midfield. Another penalty on the next play gave Woodcreek a first-and-5 from the Del Oro 31. Timberwolves quarterback Tommy Murphy threw an incomplete pass on first down before star running back James Nunley took a 31-yard hitch-and-go around several Del Oro defenders and into the end zone for the game-winner. The Del Oro defense was all over Nunley early, holding him to five total yards on his first six carries. He finished with a game-high 99 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries. With Del Oro leading 14-10 in the second quarter, Eagles linebacker Joe Brunet batted down Murphy’s third-down pass attempt. Del Oro was flagged for a 15-yard personal foul after the play, resulting in a Woodcreek first down rather than the Eagles taking possession on downs. Murphy tossed a 42-yard scoring strike to Jones on the very next play to give Woodcreek (5-3, 3-0 SFL) the lead at the intermission. “That was just undisciplined on our part,” Taylor said. Added defensive back Nathan Richmond, “Stupid mistakes like that personal foul killed us.” After Magleby’s third-quarter touchdown put Del Oro back on top, Richmond intercepted a Murphy pass with nine minutes left and the Eagles had a perfect opportunity to add an insurance touchdown. Magleby fumbled the ball away on the fifth play of the drive, however, setting up the Timberwolves’ game-winning charge. “It came down to making plays,” Taylor said. “We had opportunities to win this game. I really thought we outplayed them most of the game and just didn’t make plays when we had chances. We turned the ball over and had some big penalties on big plays.” Magleby completed 8-of-20 passes for 152 yards and a score and ran for two touchdowns on 68 yards, but his fumble proved more than costly. “We get the ball to our best player and he fumbles, and then we drop a couple of passes,” Taylor said. “You’ve got to give Woodcreek credit. They stuck around and made the plays down the stretch to make it happen. It seems like we always find a way to lose it. We can’t find a way to win but we can always find a way to lose. That’s kind of been our story.” Junior varsity Del Oro 40, Woodcreek 13 — Cody O’Sullivan scored two rushing touchdowns and added an 83-yard interception return in the final two minutes as the Eagles handed the Timberwolves their first loss of the season. Quarterback Max Magleby completed touchdown passes to Shoey Martinson and Brandon Acuna and Kenny Andri ran for another score as Del Oro increased its 14-0 halftime lead in the second half to improve to 6-2. Woodcreek quarterback Ryan Kovach threw scoring strikes to Derrick Kimball and Blake Cervantes as the Timberwolves fell to 7-1.