Silverado faces big hurdle against Del Sol

After two seasons of disappointment, Silverado’s football team is on the brink of having something to celebrate.
The only thing standing in the Skyhawks’ way is Del Sol.
Silverado (5-3, 2-3 Southeast League) plays at Del Sol (5-4, 3-2) in the regular-season finale for both teams at 7 p.m. Thursday.
The Skyhawks can clinch a playoff berth with a victory. Should the Dragons win, Silverado would need a win by Green Valley or Coronado to make the playoffs.
“It’s better than having to hope for someone to lose for us to get in,” Silverado coach Andy Ostolaza said. “We control our own destiny, so that’s a good thing. The bad thing is we’re playing a team like Del Sol.”
This year’s Dragons squad isn’t quite the team that made it to the state final a year ago, but Del Sol already has clinched a playoff berth. The Dragons have won their past three games after a three-game losing streak in the middle of the season.
“It’s a lot of pressure,” Silverado senior lineman Seth Bohman said. “Del Sol is a great team, but I think if we keep our heads right and just do what we know how to do, what we’ve been practicing all year, that we can come out on top.”
Silverado has been among the preseason favorites in the Southeast in recent years but has missed the playoffs the past two seasons.
But the Skyhawks have won three of their past four, and Ostolaza hopes for an offensive outburst against Del Sol.
“Defensively we’re playing as good as we have been the last couple years,” said Ostolaza, whose team has allowed an average of 16.1 points this season. “I’m hoping that the offense has maybe turned the corner now and we’ll get a little more from them on Thursday.”
Izaiah Thurmon (839 rushing yards, eight TDs) has provided a consistent ground presence for the Skyhawks, but Ostolaza thinks the passing game will be the key against the Dragons.
“We’ll have to utilize our receivers to beat Del Sol, because they’re pretty good against the run,” Ostolaza said.
Tight end Josh Curtis (30 catches, 465 yards, seven TDs) and receiver Ladale Jackson (nine catches, 253 yards, two TDs) have been the top weapons among the team’s receivers.
“We have to be able to keep Del Sol honest with the pass,” Ostolaza said. “We can’t have them putting eight, nine people in the box and not be able to test them with our receivers.”

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