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July 29, 2014

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Del Sol stomps out Foothill, 40-17

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Steve Reyes/Special to the Home News

Earnest Hall (5) lead the Dragons in rushing with 134 yards and two touchdowns during Friday night’s game against Foothill. Del Sol won, 40-17.

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Foothill's Aaron Dupin (8) runs with the ball during Friday's game against Del Sol. The Dragons won, 40-17.

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Del Sol's Dezrick Reed (7), background, and Derek Eamon (3) go for a tackle against Foothill's Connor Afoa (7) during Friday night's game at Foothill.

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The Del Sol Dragons aren't ashamed of their one-dimensional offensive attack.

That's especially true when that scheme proves nearly unstoppable against a league rival, like it did Friday night when the Dragons ran over Foothill, 40-17.

Seven rushers racked up more than 360 yards as the Dragons (5-1, 2-0) picked up their third consecutive victory and moved to the top of the Southeast League standings.

“We are a power football team. That’s how we get our points and that’s how we get everyone motivated,” said junior running back Earnest Hall, who led the Dragons with 20 carries for 134 yards and two touchdowns. “That’s our offense. Power football. That’s Del Sol football.”

In the rare instances when Hall was on the sideline, senior running back and Coronado transfer Derek Eamon was racking up 62 yards and two scores on 11 touches.

Overall, Del Sol devoted 47 of its 55 offensive plays to the ground attack.

Eamon kicked off Del Sol’s scoring onslaught by breaking two tackles on a 23-yard dash to the end zone less than two minutes into the game to give the Dragons a 7-0 lead.

Hall then extended Del Sol’s lead, 13-0, by capping off a 13-play, 74-yard drive on an 18-yard touchdown run with 8:11 left in the first half.

“We are very fortunate that we have multiple backs who are really skilled," said Del Sol coach Preston Goroff. “It’s truly a luxury to have because you can keep everyone’s legs fresh throughout the game.”

Even Hall’s and Eamon’s chief blocker, senior fullback Jon Kirschbaum, took his turn at exploiting the Falcons’ porous defense.

Kirschbaum notched 123 yards on five carries and scored on a trick hook-and-ladder play in the fourth quarter to put the Dragons on top 33-10 in the final minutes.

“What makes that team go is that they have some good fullbacks who are just big hitters,” said Foothill coach Marty Redmond. “They are big strong kids who carry a lot of weight and they just power the football down.”

Yet despite gaining four more first downs and 117 more yards than Foothill in the first half, a late Falcons score nearly erased Del Sol’s early dominance.

Foothill sophomore Connor Afoa slashed the Falcons’ deficit to 13-10 on a 3-yard touchdown run with 1:09 remaining in the first half to cap a 13-play, 80-yard drive.

But the Falcons couldn't carry that momentum into the second half as Afoa fumbled the opening kickoff return and the Dragons went on a 27-point scoring binge.

Del Sol senior Jordan Molina crushed any hopes of a Foothill comeback with a 75-yard punt return for a touchdown with 7:27 remaining in the game.

“We thought we had momentum coming into the half and that fumble definitely switched momentum, but I’m really proud of our kids,” said Foothill coach Marty Redmon. “I thought they battled real hard throughout the game … I think is the probably the best team in our league that we will face so I’m not too disappointed. I think we still have our destiny in our own hands as far as making the playoffs.”

The Falcons, who have now dropped three consecutive games, head to Silverado next week.

Although Del Sol owned the line of scrimmage Friday with stellar blocking and a bruising ground game, its much-maligned defense also held strong. The Dragons allowed just 61 rushing yards and limited Foothill junior quarterback Aaron Dupin to just 108 passing yards on 26 attempts.

“I think our defense was the unsung hero tonight,” Goroff said. “We challenged our defensive backs and told them that people were saying they were the weak point of the team. We really worked on that this week, because we knew Foothill had a good quarterback and a good passing game. I think they stepped up to the challenge.”

After powering their way to the top of the Southeast League Friday, the Dragons look to play a struggling Coronado team that has lost its last four games.

“We can’t look ahead too much, but hard work, focus and discipline will get us where we need to be,” Hall said.

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