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November 21, 2014

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Dehart helps power Silverado past Coronado

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Cydney Cappello

Coronado’s Marcus Garcia (22) is tackled during Friday night’s game against Silverado.

Coronado at Silverado

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Darren Dehart was a dynamo for Silverado High on Friday night in its 26-7 homecoming victory over Coronado.

From the start, the senior right defensive end for the Skyhawks jumped up and down moments before every Coronado play.

He yelped and hollered, screaming for his teammates to join him. He pointed at gaps, frantically looked behind him to place linebackers and screamed out shifts.

He was so amped, he led his teammates in the end-of-the-game procession to shake hands with the Cougars.

When that was completed, Dehart again jumped up and down like a piece of popcorn and unleashed his high-pitched howl to the heavens.

“It’s just, the first few weeks, nobody on the sideline was getting loud,” said Dehart, his voice hoarse.

In practice Wednesday, he changed all that, surprising the Skyhawks’ first-team defense against the team’s second-team offense. It became contagious.

“I was getting way loud,” he said. “I was talking on almost every play and my teammates were following me, just like tonight.”

The Skyhawks (4-2, 1-2 in the Southeast Division) avoided remaining winless in their league because of the energy that Dehart and the rest of his teammates showed against Coronado (2-4, 0-3).

Speedy 6-foot-1 senior Michael Wadsworth made the Silverado fans erupt on the opening kickoff, which he returned 86 yards for a touchdown.

Not long afterward, Dehart’s voice started echoing throughout Silverado’s field.

On Coronado’s second offensive series, its sixth play of the game, Dehart sacked senior quarterback Dane Cooper for an 11-yard loss.

It set the tone for Silverado, which limited the Cougars to 55 rushing yards in the first half and 47 in the second. The Skyhawks stopped Coronado 11 times at the line-of-scrimmage or behind it.

But Coronado played some stellar defense of its own in the first half and tied it, 7-7, on the first series of the second half.

Cooper hit 6-3 senior Blake Smith in the left flat, and Smith straight-armed cornerback Dariouse Gravely to the ground and rambled 44 yards for a touchdown.

“A great reception,” said Cougars first-year coach John Mannion. “Wish we had 10 more like him.”

Silverado responded by driving 57 yards for a touchdown on eight plays, capped by quarterback Kyle Simmons’s 6-yard touchdown pass to junior tight end Matt Hollen, to take a 14-7 lead.

The Skyhawks stuffed the Cougars on consecutive three-and-outs, courtesy of a Silverado fumbled punt that Blake Smith recovered, before sealing the game.

Junior running back Terran Madu-Jules ran 30 yards deep into Coronado territory. Five plays later, Hawaii-bound T.J. Alofipo darted into the end zone from 15 yards out to make it 20-7 on the first play of the fourth quarter.

Silverado coach Andy Ostolaza called for an onside kick, to keep the ball away from return ace Kenny Lawrence, and Gravely recovered it for the Skyhawks.

Four plays later, senior fullback Akeem Saint Victor zipped through his right side on “30-toss-trap” for the final points of the game.

“I took a step and saw an opening,” Saint Victor said. “I took it. It was wide open.”

Silverado had scored 11 total points in its previous two games, both defeats. Friday night, the Skyhawks rushed for 267 yards.

“We got a little better, especially on offense in the second half,” Ostolaza said. “We ran plays we used to be able to run. Hopefully, we turned the corner.”

Two plays into Coronado’s next possession, Saint Victor sacked Cooper, the Cougars’ quarterback, for a 5-yard loss.

“I was just hungry, trying to go after them,” Saint Victor said.

How could he not, hearing Dehart’s high-pitched wails ringing in his ears since Wednesday and all through Friday’s game?

“Yeah, I try to have a motor,” Dehart said. “We finally stepped it up on offense. On defense, we did what we were supposed to do. We played Skyhawk football.”

By next Friday, maybe his voice will return.

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