The visiting Vacaville Bulldogs ran up and down the field on the Wolverines for most of the game, totaling nearly 600 yards to handily defeat Deer Valley, 47-26. It was the Wolverines’ first regular season loss since Oct. 25, 2008.
“They were just better than us tonight, that’s all there is to it,” head coach Rich Woods said. “This is a good football team that we played tonight and they just rolled it up on us.”
After falling behind early, the 4-1 Wolverines clawed their way back into the game. Senior running back Lamontay Marshall scored twice on runs on nine and 38 yards to tie the game at 13. Junior wide receiver Miles Walker then scored on a 27-yard run to take a 20-13 lead. Vacaville’s Melvin Mason scored on a 19-yard run but when the Wolverines halted a two-point conversion attempt, it appeared as though they would take a 20-19 lead into halftime.
A Deer Valley fumble with less than two minutes remaining in the opening half gave the Bulldogs the ball deep in Deer Valley territory. Vacaville (4-1) tailback Quincy Forte scored the first of his three touchdowns and the ensuing two-point conversion gave the Bulldogs a lead that they would not relinquish.
Woods felt that the fumble and ensuing eight points was the turning point of the game: “I thought we got back into a 20-19 halftime lead and then we fumbled the football. From that point on, it was downhill for us.”
The homecoming festivities at halftime did nothing to lift the spirits of Deer Valley as the Bulldogs had a 21-point third quarter to put the game out of reach for the Wolverines. They did receive a glimmer of hope on an odd way, a punt. A nice Vacaville return was thwarted by a fumble that was recovered by Walker, who ran untouched into the end zone, cutting the lead to 41-26 with 10 minutes remaining, leaving the door open for a possible Wolverine comeback.
That door was slammed shut with a 65-yard touchdown drive by the Bulldogs that ran more than six minutes off of the clock. In a play symbolic of the rest of the game, Deer Valley appeared to answer that drive when senior quarterback Mike Behr hit sophomore tight end Elijah Iakopo on a short pass. Iakopo ran for 58 yards before being caught from behind, which resulted in a fumble. Deer Valley never regained possession.
“I definitely don’t like the way we played, how we finished. We started, we got into a little back and forth scoring match with them but I don’t like the way we finished the game,” said Woods. “I don’t know what that’s all about so we’re just going to have to see. We couldn’t stop them.”
Marshall rushed for 55 yards and two touchdowns. Fellow senior running back, Brian Thomas led the Wolverines with 89. The Deer Valley passing attack never got going as other than Iakopo’s fumble, Behr completed only two passes. The highlight of his night came when he intercepted a pass.
The night was no better for the junior varsity team as Vacaville downed them, 28-21.
Woods and the Wolverines will have an extra week to adjust as they have a bye week, along with every other Bay Valley Athletic League team, with the exception of Liberty. Deer Valley’s next game will be on Oct. 15 in the BVAL opener against Pittsburg, at home. The Wolverines will be looking for revenge against a Pittsburg team that ended their dream season last year in the playoffs with a 26-0 shutout.