Union Mine 12
Calaveras High School issued a venomous defeat to the Union Mine Diamondbacks in a stunning 40-12 victory to extend their unbeaten streak to 4-0.
Senior kicker Kyle Alfred entered the game with a decisive achievement of his own: a 16 unmissed-PAT streak since the start of the season.
Union Mine 12
By the end of the game, he had one missed kick to grieve but something much greater to celebrate, an upcoming game against Sonora High School to reinitiate his streak once again.
“You’re watching the pros and they make them all the time,” he said, showing slight disappointment that he missed his first point after attempt of the season on Calaveras’ final touchdown of the night. “I was surprised that in high school people are missing them all the time.”
“It’s a little special for me going 20 for 20,” he said, identifying his final tally. “It’s definitely a team effort for me to go 20 and 20.”
And his plans for the rest of the season match the overall goal of the team, one game at a time.
“I hope,” he said, about the prospect of beating his record in the upcoming games.
But the next game against Sonora – the first Mother Lode League game of the season – was all Alfred, and the whole team, had on their minds.
“We’re looking forward to it. We think of it as we’re zero and zero,” he said. “New game, new record. I think we can take Sonora, I think we can take league.”
Coach Jason Weatherby said he was pleased that his team had ended the game healthy, but he believes Calaveras needs “to work on things to get better.”
“Us and Sonora are projected to be at least in the top three in league,” he said. “Deciding who is in front of that is big.”
At the start of the game, red and gold swept across the stands and from the opening kickoff, all the Calaveras spectators were eager for their team to rack up another win.
Calaveras began the game with a short kickoff to Union Mine, which quickly threw an interception to Calaveras senior Logan Arledge on an early possession.
Arledge, slithering through the off-guard Diamondbacks, converted the play into an early touchdown. The snap on the PAT went awry however, and no kick was attempted before the following play was shut down.
And from that moment, Calaveras just continued to run up the score.
A collective effort between senior quarterback Kyle Byrd and the running backs brought Calaveras progressively up the field on their next possession, and junior Logan Weatherby solidified their efforts with another touchdown.
Again, within the final seconds of the first quarter, Calaveras widened their lead with a long, loping pass from Byrd into the diving fingertips of senior Shad Nordhal.
At the start of the second quarter, Calaveras was more than 13 yards back from the first down, the odds against them for conversion.
But, being deep in Diamondback territory, they managed to pull off a diversionary maneuver to not only gain the yards they needed, but another touchdown as well.
Calaveras lost their opportunity for a shutout soon after however, when Union Mine took a long pass and yielded a snaking, 66-yard run for a touchdown of their own.
Calaveras Senior Tristan Madsen was not be outdone though, and registered his first touchdown of the game.
The half ended at 34-6, Calaveras.
Madsen doubled his touchdown tally with another in the third quarter, Calaveras’ last of the game.
It was on that touchdown that Alfred narrowly missed the PAT, striking the right upright.
The Diamondbacks reopened with a last-second touchdown of their own, but with a score of 40-12 at the end of the third quarter, the gulf proved to be too great.
As new players made their way out to the field in the waning minutes, the score held for a decisive Calaveras victory.
Calaveras High School will face off in an away game against the Sonora High School Wildcats on Sept. 22.