The Calaveras High School varsity football team rolled past Stellar Preparatory High School 34-8 in a home game Friday night at Frank Meyer Field in San Andreas.
Calaveras’ forced a fumble on Stellar Prep’s opening drive and recovered the ball on the visiting team’s 36.
The home team kept the ball on the ground to drive down the field to Stellar Prep’s 3. Calaveras’ Clayton Moore got the carry on fourth down and got in the end zone for the first points of the game.
The point after kick by Calaveras’ Andrew Celli was good to make the score 7-0 with 8:20 left in the first quarter.
Moore proved to be a major weapon for Calaveras’ offense throughout the game. He picked up more than than 20 yards on two consecutive carries to open the team’s second drive.
Calaveras kept up the ground attack and eventually got to the Stellar Prep 5, in part due to a flag for helmet-to-helmet contact against the Thunder.
On first and goal, Moore got the carry up the middle and got into the endzone untouched for Calaveras’ second touchdown. The kick after by Celli was good to make the score 14-0 with 3:44 left to play in the first quarter.
The home team proved to be just as strong on defense as they were on offense, holding Stellar Prep to a three-and-out on their next drive and forcing them to punt from their own 10.
Calaveras went back to work on offense from the Stellar Prep 33 and again relied heavily on Moore’s running attack.
Moore looked as though he was going to get his third consecutive touchdown for Calaveras, but the ball was ripped from his hands at the 1-yard-line and Stellar Prep recovered.
A flag for pass interference on Calaveras gave the Thunder 15 yards and got out of safety danger.
There was a pause in the action that lasted more than 30 minutes with 9:11 remaining in the first half due to a dispute over a penalty that negated a big catch by a Thunder receiver that would have got them past midfield.
The flag appeared to be on Stellar Prep for having personnel encroaching on the field after a previous warning, resulting in some audible shouting over on the visiting team’s sidelines.
Calaveras and Thunder players tried to keep themselves loose on the field, while the school’s band tried to entertain the crowd that was becoming vocally irritated by the lengthy delay.
“Let’s go!”, “Let them play!”, and “Get off the field!” were among the shouts coming from the Calaveras home stands.
The game finally resumed and Stellar Prep got to redo first down on their own 25.
Stellar Prep managed to get a first down and later completed a huge pass that would have brought them to within a yard from their first touchdown, but they were dogged by a number of penalties.
Calaveras’ Donivan Giangregorio came through with a big sack on the Thunder quarterback on third and long, forcing them to punt on fourth and long from around midfield.
The Thunder would get another shot at the end zone before the end of the long first half after recovering a fumble by Calaveras with 50 seconds left.
Stellar Prep went with the air attack to get down to the Calaveras 25, but the home team got an interception in the end zone on the final play of the half.
“Probably the longest first half I’ll have in my life folks,” the announcer joked as people in the stands chuckled.
The second half started at about 9:30 p.m., with the home stands looking notably more sparse.
Calaveras received the kickoff and picked up a first down on a five-yard run by Moore to bring them to their own 40.
They picked up another first down on a short pass to Calaveras’ Jonny Lozano, one of Dart’s only pass attempts of the game.
Moore kept up his consistency and followed up with a roughly 15-yard run for another first down, bringing the ball to the Stellar Prep 22.
Moore went for the end zone a few plays later and was stopped a yard shy, but Calaveras’ Jake Hopper punched it through on the next play.
Celli’s point after kick was successful to give Calaveras the 21-0 lead with 6:06 remaining in the third quarter.
Stellar Prep’s next possession ended with a turnover on downs and set up another scoring drive for Calaveras.
Starting from the Calaveras 40, Moore took the handoff to started the drive and gained more than 20 yards.
A holding penalty on Stellar Prep tacked an additional 15 yards to the end of Moore’s run and brought the ball to the Thunder’s 23.
Another helmet-to-helmet penalty on a Stellar Prep player gave Calaveras the first down and the ball at Thunder’s 8 yard line to end the third quarter.
Lozano ran in for the touchdown a few plays later, but a blocked point after kick brought the score to 27-0 with 11:09 remaining in the game.
Stellar Prep picked up its first touchdown on its ensuing possession, which essentially consisted of two long passes to the receiver on the sideline.
The Thunder’s quarterback completed a short pass to a receiver in the end zone for the 2-point conversion, bringing the score to 27-8 with 9:11 left to play.
Calaveras would get the ball back on the Stellar Prep 15 after stopping the Thunder on fourth down.
They kept the ball on the ground and ran down most of the remaining clock before Ronnie Garcia carried for another touchdown.
A successful point after kick brought Calaveras lead to an insurmountable 34-8 with 45 seconds left to play.
The game ended after 10:30 p.m.
Calaveras advances to 3-2 as they enter Mother Lode League play next Friday in their homecoming game at Frank Meyer Field against Summerville High School (2-3).
Contact Alex MacLean at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 588-4530.