The Delta Charter football team’s offensive struggles were aggravated by repeated penalties, leaving the Dragons with a 33-8 loss to the Bret Harte Bullfrogs on Saturday at Delta Charter’s Elias Gamez Memorial Field.
Delta Charter coach Jeff Tilton said he suited up 19 players, with some key personnel, including senior wide receiver Kea’Sean Johnson, on the sidelines because of illness. Tilton said some who did suit up were also affected by an illness that hit the Delta Charter campus this week, and by the end of the game, he had just 13 players.
“The guys we had in there, we took an 8-0 lead in the second quarter and then we had two bad snaps and everything just fell through from there,” Tilton said.
“We were playing with them compared to last year, when it was already 36-0 at the end of the first quarter, with them leading. We’ll rebound. We have a really tough one next week with Golden Sierra. They’re probably the team to beat in the section for Division 7.
“We’re going to have to see how the wounds come up after the weekend and see how things are going next week for homecoming.”
The Bullfrogs got the ball first and were making a slow but steady march up the field when sophomore Tank Chartier scooped up a fumble and ran it back 47 yards to put the Dragons on the Bullfrogs’ 9-yard line.
On the Dragons’ first offensive play of the game, senior fullback Josh Marseline went down at the line of scrimmage and suffered a possible ankle injury. Medics carried him off the field, and he was out for the rest of the game, and possibly for future games.
The Dragons ended up going three-and-out on that series, but they came back on the next series to cover 58 yards on 12 plays, with a "roughing the punter" call that kept the drive going until senior quarterback Robert Cancilla connected with junior Williams Ornellas on a 24-yard touchdown pass up the middle early in the second quarter. Cancilla’s 2-point conversion run gave the Dragons an 8-0 lead.
After the Bullfrogs lost the ball on a fumble on the next series, the Dragons had a long march ahead of them. A personal foul penalty pushed them back, and the Bullfrogs blocked the punt and Bret Harte senior Adam Ange picked up the ball and ran it back 36 yards for a touchdown. Senior Emanuel Nava made the first of his three point-after kicks to cut Delta Charter’s lead to 8-7.
Another turnover, this time on a bad snap, gave the Bullfrogs 20 yards to cover to score their next touchdown. Junior Tyler Cabral ran just two plays, including a 13-yard touchdown run, to put the Bullfrogs up 14-8 at the half.
The Dragons totaled 74 offensive yards Saturday. Junior Jathen Cain advanced the ball 35 yards but also took equal losses. Junior Caleb Pedretti had a 31-yard run midway through a second-quarter drive that got the Dragons as close as the Bret Harte 5-yard line, only to see the Dragons lose the ball on a fumble a few plays later.
Penalties and offensive losses continued to plague the Dragons through the third quarter. The Bullfrogs had a short field for all three of their third-quarter possessions and scored on two of those with a 1-yard touchdown run for senior Cole Zeyin-Sperry and a 24-yard touchdown run for Cabral.
The Dragons went three-and-out on both of their fourth-quarter possessions, and the Bullfrogs scored again on a 30-yard drive, capped by a 1-yard touchdown run for Cabral.
Bret Harte totaled 194 yards on offense, including 186 yards rushing, with Cabral covering 123 yards on 16 carries.