Del Sol’s offense wasn’t holding up its half of the bargain in the first half against Rancho on Friday night. The Dragons’ defense had been impressive, but Del Sol led only 6-0 less than six minutes to go before halftime.
As it turned out, special teams made the pivotal play.
Junior Jason Meuir made a tough grab of an end-over-end punt and raced down the left sideline 46 yards for a touchdown, swinging the momentum and sparking the Dragons to a 28-0 victory.
Meuir said he looked left as soon as he caught the ball in the middle of the field.
“I saw there was no one on the left side, and it seemed pretty wide open once I got going,” Meuir said. “The guys just blocked for me, and from there I could pretty much jog in.”
With the momentum rolling for the Dragons, the defense took over from there.
Ashton Cacho stopped Rancho’s next series three plays later with an interception he returned 27 yards to the Rancho 3. Dezerick
Reed rumbled into the end zone on the next play, and the Dragons were in control, 20-0 with 3:43 left in the half.
Reed added an 85-yard fumble return for a touchdown in the third quarter for Del Sol (2-0). Reed also had a sack, Meuir had an interception, Evan Weinstock had a fumble recovery, and Kip Canyon had a fumble recovery and a sack for the Dragons.
Overall, the Dragon defense had five forced turnovers and three sacks on the way to the shutout.
“Our plan on defense was we just had to keep them out of the end zone, and the turnovers just helped us keep our energy,” said Meuir.
On offense, Del Sol quarterback Troy Miller connected on 8-of-16 passes for 160 yards – all in the first half – including a 29-yard touchdown pass to Weinstock to cap the Dragons’ first possession of the game.
“It was nice to actually open it up,” said Weinstock, who finished with three receptions for 77 yards. “We have a great quarterback.”
Reed complemented the Dragon air attack with 95 rushing yards on 18 carries. But Del Sol could not handle prosperity on offense, thanks to 11 penalties and three turnovers that helped Rancho stay close in the first half before Meuir’s big return.
Mike Cruz had 25 carries for 94 yards for Rancho (0-2), while Brandon Pletsch came off the bench in the second half and threw for 97 yards on 5-of-10 passing.