Millennium beats Delta Charter

Millennium High junior Jacey Zuniga (front) breaks free from a Delta Charter tackle on the way to a kickoff return for a touchdown Friday night at Tracy High’s Wayne Schneider Stadium.

Millennium 45, Delta Charter 10

The Millennium High offense relied almost entirely on its passing game for a 45-10 win over the Delta Charter Dragons in the Falcons’ homecoming game Friday.

Junior quarterback Caden Duke completed 19 of 36 passes for 229 yards, including six passes for 89 yards to junior Jacey Zuniga, four of them for touchdowns.

“My mindset was just to make plays to help out my team, not be selfish,” Zuniga said. “If I’m open, I trust my quarterback to hit me, and he did, and we just had a great game.”

Duke said he had to switch game balls early on because officials determined that the ball he had been using was worn down.

“So we had to use a different ball that we had never practiced with before, and that fact that we were able to continue our passing game and being able to get those big touchdowns was huge and gives us a lot of confidence,” he said.

Duke connected with six different receivers Friday, including senior Josh Marlin for 59 yards on four passes.

He added that he and Zuniga built up confidence in each other in the first half of the season, making their passing game more effective.

“Now that we have two threats with him and Josh on the outside, it’s going to be hard for teams to stop that,” Duke said.

The Falcons opened with a 45-yard drive, which included a 19-yard touchdown pass from Duke to Zuniga. Millennium junior Reece Murphy recovered the onside kick on the 50-yard line, and seven plays later, Duke connected with Zuniga again on a 27-yard touchdown pass to make it a 12-0 game.

Once they got the ball, the Dragons were unable to make any offensive progress, but their defense was successful in holding back the Falcons on their next two possessions.

Delta Charter coach John Griggs said that despite being plagued by injuries — only 18 players suited up on Friday — he saw the Dragons on the field Friday playing hard.

“We competed all four quarters and I felt we did a good job,” Griggs said. “They have a very good quarterback, and we had a couple bad breaks on some fumbles and turnovers. We clean that stuff up and the scoreboard is different.”

A bad snap and a fumble in the end zone on a Millennium punt attempt at the start of the second quarter gave the Dragons a safety, but a fumble on the onside kick, again recovered by Millennium’s Murphy, set up another Falcon touchdown drive, this one covering 48 yards on five plays, including a 22-yard touchdown pass from Duke to Marlin.

Marlin had a 44-yard punt return and the Falcons covered 26 yards on four plays, including a 23-yard touchdown pass from Duke to Zuniga, to make it a 24-2 game going into halftime.

While the Dragons made no progress on offense, they did put up a defense that held Millennium to just 23 rushing yards. The Delta Charter defensive line also kept the pressure up on Duke, pushing him back for negative rushing yards.

The Dragon defense also scored the team’s only touchdown. Delta Charter junior Jathen Cain intercepted a Duke pass and ran it back 65 yards on the right side. Senior quarterback D.J. Ramirez completed a 2-point conversion pass to make it a 24-10 game in Millennium’s favor.

The Falcons responded right after the Dragons’ touchdown, with Zuniga taking the kickoff on the 20-yard line and running through the middle of the crowd, breaking free of multiple tackle attempts on the way, until he emerged on the right side and sprinted toward the end zone. Duke connected with Zuniga again for the 2-point conversion.

The Dragon offense got its only first down of the game on the next series when senior Kea’Sean Johnson made a 10-yard run, but the Falcon defensive line held the Dragons down after that.

The Dragons’ defensive line threw Duke for another loss, and Cain and senior Samuei Tavake covered the Falcon receivers. The Dragons went three-and-out again after that, and Millennium senior Nathan McGhee blocked the punt to put the Falcons on the Delta Charter 20-yard line. From there, Duke passed to Zuniga to put Millennium up 38-10.

Neither team could move the ball in the fourth quarter until the Falcons’ final possession of the game, when they covered 49 yards on five plays, including a 7-yard touchdown pass from Duke to senior Ian Braten.

Millennium coach LaVale Woods credited the Dragons, including defensive end Olache Edache, with keeping up the pressure on the Falcons’ offense.

“We still had to make some adjustments because they made some great adjustments, and so we were able to offset what they did and our kids performed tonight,” Woods said.

He added that the win would provide a confidence boost as the Falcons took a week off and prepared for Big Valley Christian in Modesto on Oct. 11

“Grades are going to be coming out for us pretty soon. We’re going to get some kids who are going to be eligible and who are going to contribute right away,” the coach said.

Millennium won the junior varsity game 14-8.

Kimball 48, East Union 44

The Jaguars came from behind twice to defeat Valley Oak League opponent East Union 48-44 on Friday at Don Nicholson Stadium.

Kimball coach Mike Kuhnlenz said it was a stellar night for sophomore quarterback Nicholas Coronado, and he gave credit to the starting offensive line: seniors Harvir Singh, Azan Ahmed and Joshua Faiaipau and juniors Noah Bauer and Eduardo Fuentes.

Kuhnlenz said the defense held up well even after he had to shuffle some players around, including a couple of sophomore linemen, Connor Burns and Ryan Dunniway, who were just moved up from the junior varsity team.

They joined seniors Kaleo Ballungay, Echi Nwadike and Julio Martinez; juniors Trevor Gibson and Saheed Oladunjaye; and sophomore Abed Abdelmajid in putting up a stubborn defense.

“The entire team just never gave up,” Kuhnlenz said.

East Union (3-3, 0-2 VOL) took a 14-0 lead in the first quarter with a 66-yard run by junior Tyler Diaz and a 2-yard run by senior Dennis Crum.

Senior Louie Pacheco, the Jaguars’ rushing leader with 81 yards on 12 carries, including four touchdown runs, scored on a 10-yard run to put the Jaguars (4-2, 1-1 VOL) on the scoreboard. Senior Andre McDaniel scored the 2-point conversion on a pass from Coronado. McDaniel also snagged an interception on the next series and scored on a 34-yard touchdown pass from Coronado to tie it up 14-14 at the end of the first quarter.

The Jaguars pulled into the lead early in the second quarter when Pacheco scored on a 4-yard run and also ran in the 2-point conversion. East Union tied it up 22-22 when Diaz scored on a 5-yard run and senior quarterback Eric Morales ran in the conversion.

Pacheco ran in another touchdown from the 3-yard line early in the third quarter to put Kimball ahead, but East Union answered with two touchdowns in the third: a 2-yard run by junior Anthony Corrales and a 33-yard interception return from senior Mekhi Richardson followed by a 2-point conversion pass from Morales to junior Ryland Toves.

The Lancers took a 44-28 lead in the fourth quarter when Corrales ran the ball in from the 8-yard line and senior Cameron Torres made his fourth point-after kick of the night.

The Jaguars answered with senior Darren Jackson’s 85-yard kickoff return. Coronado connected with senior Jaxen North for a 19-yard touchdown and then hit senior Kalao Ballungay for the 2-point conversion, and Pacheco scored on a 16-yard run with less than a minute left on the clock to put Kimball up 48-44.

East Union got as far as the Kimball 26-yard line on the Lancers’ final drive, with defensive end Ballungay knocking down the final pass to end the game.

Coronado finished the night with 328 yards on 31 of 41 pass attempts. He hit McDaniel nine times for 100 yards and North nine times for 87 yards.

Corrales was the Lancers’ leading rusher with 167 yards as East Union totaled 361 rushing yards.

East Union won the junior varsity game 53-14, and the East Union freshmen beat Kimball 28-0 on Thursday.

Johansen 28, Mountain House 21

The Mountain House Mustangs (0-5, 0-2 Western Athletic Conference) executed a decent rushing game on Friday for their homecoming game, but they lost the ball at critical times to leave the Johansen Vikings (4-1, 2-0 WAC) with the 28-21 win.

“We turned the ball over too much, even though we got two picks off of their guy,” Mountain House coach Jason McCloskey said.

Johansen scored first, and Mountain House responded with two touchdowns in the first quarter, including a 90-yard kickoff return by senior Avery Brooks and a 40-yard touchdown run by senior Timothy Cantu.

Johansen ran in two touchdowns in the second quarter and one in the third to take a 28-14 lead, and Cantu made another long touchdown run in the fourth quarter to make it a 28-21 game in the visitors’ favor. Junior Isaiah Apostal made three point-after kicks for Mountain House.

The Mustangs won the junior varsity game 27-16.

Contact Sports Editor Bob Brownne at brownne@tracypress.com, or call 209-830-4227.

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