Whenever the defense doesn’t allow any points, that usually means good things.
It also helps that all season long the Vintage football team has had a rock-solid defensive unit. The Crushers showed off how good they can be Friday night as they routed Sonoma Valley, 66-14, in a Vine Valley Athletic League contest at Memorial Stadium.
Vintage (5-3, 4-1 VVAL) was playing in the Dragons' backfield all night long defensively, recording a whopping eight sacks.
“We talked about it all week. We put a number out, our goal, and I believe we hit it plus three,” Vintage head coach Dylan Leach said. “So that was something that we really, really, really wanted to accomplish, and we felt like all year we've been getting close but haven't had the big sets. So we wanted to make sure that we executed and got sacks.”
Through Sonoma Valley (0-8, 0-5 VVAL) found the scoreboard twice during this one, none of the touchdowns was the fault of the defense. However, the Vintage defense was able to force a safety in the first quarter.
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The Dragons’ first score came on a 90-yard kickoff return by Joey Fiorito. Their only other score came when Spencer Jacobs recovered a Crushers fumble at the Vintage 32-yard line and scored.
“It’s kind of something that's plagued us all year,” Leach explained of the two scores his team allowed. “The fumbles, we had two interceptions where plays were just not executed. I think we had three penalties again right in the beginning pf the game, so all those things need to get cleaned up.”
The night also saw some of the Crushers' own fireworks on special teams, when Mo Schaumkel had an 85-yard touchdown kickoff return.
“Honestly, it was just the great blocking,” Schaumkel said. “It was just our wedge — our little wedge cross and everything. I just hit the wedge and then went outside and just did what we could do and scored.”
Leach was happy to see Vintage's own special teams add to the point total.
“It's always good to have special team scores just because it's a fifth of the game,” he explained. “People don't realize that in high school; it's literally one-fifth of the game. It’s 20% of the game. So we've got to spend 20% of our time on it, and we do — we don't cheat the game. We work on special teams all the time, so it's great to have that rewarded.”
The win is also huge because there is now a four-way tie for first place in the Vine Valley Athletic League after American Canyon beat Casa Grande, 48-30. Those two teams and Vintage and Petaluma are all 3-1 in league now.
Up next for Vintage is its regular-season finale, as the visitor in Big Game 50 against crosstown rival Napa High this Friday night.
It will be the first time Vintage has been the road team in an even-numbered Big Game in series history. This will also be the second Big Game of the 2021 calendar year, which is also a first for the rivalry. Napa leads the all-time series 29-18-2, with the Crushers winning the last four.
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