Eagles rock Voks with big third quarter



Pleasanton’s Johnny Zamora runs down the end ahead of Lanier defenders during the third quarter on Sept. 6. TOM FIRME | PLEASANTON EXPRESS

Pleasanton’s Johnny Zamora runs down the end ahead of Lanier defenders during the third quarter on Sept. 6. TOM FIRME | PLEASANTON EXPRESS

Pleasanton’s footballteam grinded its way through the first half against Lanier at Alamo Stadium in San Antonio on Sept. 6, but broke out in the third quarter for big pass plays that keyed a 30-0 win.

“We just competed for balls in the second half. We kind of hurried up in the second half to get a jump on it,” Pleasanton head coach Stephen Liska said of how the wide receivers improved catching in the second half. “I’m proud of the way the kids responded in the second half. It didn’t look pretty in the first half, but we fought it and played good defense and kept them out of the end zone.”

Pleasanton’s lone score in the first half was a 27- yard field goal by Justin Castillo with 3:21 left in the second quarter. That was one of a couple of first half possessions in which the Eagles missed opportunities due to dropped passes.

They adjusted their focus in the third quarter. Johnny Zamora started the first drive of the half with a 54-yard pass to Dalton Hobbs, who caught a 10- yard toss for a score three plays later.

With 5:05 left in the quarter, Zamora found Cole Wiechring open for a 25-yard touchdown pass.

Riley Torres separated himself from the Voks secondary to catch a 34-yard touchdown pass with 1:41 left in the period. Daniel Valadez pushed his way three yards for the final score with 7:23 left.

Wiechring made Pleasanton’s third interception of the game with late in the fourth quarter by tugging away a ball on which both he and a Lanier receiver had hands.

“We preach run to the ball and get to the ball, flock to the ball,” Liska said. “They’re making reads and getting to the ball.”

Jesus Ibarra and Jerry Lee Ramirez also caught interceptions. Overall, Pleasanton’s defense stuffed Lanier, holding the Voks to 95 yards of total offense. The teams were slowed a little bit by wet conditions following rain during the day, but Zamora said it only caused a little bit of slippage.

“With grass, it soaks it up and makes it slippery. In this turf, it sinks to the bottom, so it’s not as slippery,” he said.

Pleasanton plays at Pearsall (1-0) on Sept. 14 at 7:30 p.m. Pearsall will be rested from a bye week when it hosts the Eagles.

When Pleasanton last played Pearsall, it was a 28-15 Eagles bidistrict playoff win in 2006.

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