Mistakes prove costly in Buhach Colony's loss

Five turnovers doom Thunder to season-opening loss

slynch@mercedsunstar.comSeptember 2, 2013 

— Buhach Colony High's mantra entering the 2013 season was "execute."

It was on the lips of the football team's coaching staff and the team's leaders all throughout the Thunder's pregame warm-ups, and it's etched in big black letters on the team's sledgehammer.

None of that made much difference Friday night at Falcon Field as BC did anything but execute. The Thunder turned the ball over five times — all leading to San Ramon Valley touchdowns — and couldn't make a third-down stand when they needed it in a 67-30 loss to the visiting Wolves.

"You can't overcome five turnovers," Buhach Colony coach Kevin Swartwood said. "The kids fought as hard as they could, but can't overcome that.

"We had a couple turnovers by them where we didn't score. We turned it over and they did score.

"That was the difference."

Things started well enough for the Thunder, needing just four plays to get onto the scoreboard.

Darin DuPont completed a 50-yard flea flicker on the first play of the game to put San Ramon Valley (1-0) on its heels.

DiAngelo Andrews broke a 26-yard run on a fly sweep three plays later and BC (0-1) took an 8-0 lead after a 2-point conversion.

But San Ramon Valley answered right back.

Needing only seven plays, the Wolves marched 70 yards and made it 8-6 on a Marcus De La Pena 4-yard touchdown run.

It was the start of a monster evening for De La Pena and the SRV offense in general.

The Wolves ran off 27 unanswered points against the BC defense and racked up 320 total yards in the first half.

De La Pena was at the heart of the attack.

The 205-pound senior ran all over Buhach, racking up 209 rushing yards on 28 carries and scoring four times.

He was balanced out by the efficient passing of Matt Winaker, who was 13 of 16 in the game for 171 yards and two passing TDs. He rushed for a third.

"We just couldn't get them off of the field," Swartwood said. "We had opportunities, but couldn't ever seem to get the big tackle."

The Thunder did give themselves a chance with Stephon Eastman breaking a 45-yard touchdown run just before the half.

Buhach temporarily seized momentum in the game when SRV went for the knockout blow on its opening possession of the second half. The Wolves failed on a fake punt and gave Buhach Colony excellent field position.

Andrews scored his second touchdown of the game four plays later, punching it in from eight yards out to make it a 34-22 game.

The BC crowd came back to life and the Thunder sidelines were regaining some swagger, but it didn't last long.

San Ramon Valley answered in two plays as An Weinstein broke a 50-yard touchdown run on a fly sweep.

The Wolves followed that up with 20 more unanswered points to put the game out of reach.

Buhach Colony's Aundre Sherman (15-97) added a late score to make it a 67-30 final.

Sean Lynch is a Sun-Star sports writer. He can be reached at 385-2476 or via e-mail at slynch@mercedsun-star.com.

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