The homecoming game for the Salt River Eagles football team took place on September 16. The players were excited to demonstrate all the hard work and effort they had put in throughout the week, being prepared both physically at practice and academically in eligibility. Starting the season 0-3, the Eagles were also hoping to land their first win of the season against the Rancho Solano Mustangs, who were also looking for their first win.
With 4:41 left in the first quarter, the first touchdown of the game was scored by Aaron Reyes of Salt River. Lloyd Lewis converted on the 2-point conversion.
However, the Eagles’ lead would be short-lived, with two touchdowns scored by the Mustangs. At the end of the first, Rancho Solano had a 13-8 lead over Salt River.
Defensively, Lewis made a tackle for a loss and Reyes had three tackles, two of which were solo. Offensively, Salt River was tearing it up, with a total of 15 carries. Reyes also went 1-1 for passing, with Trevor Waters making a 10-yard reception.
The Salt River Eagles opened up the second quarter playing great defense, but were not as productive on offense. With 4:51 left in the quarter, Lewis ran in for a touchdown. Unfortunately, Rancho Solano also put up some points, taking away the Salt River lead.
Defensively, Robert Norris and Reyes both had great plays where they deflected passes. Also, Waters and John Hill each were able to block a field goal.
Offensively, Waters threw for 70 yards with receptions by Daniel Lopez and Hill, who each marched 35 yards up the field. Richie Marez also had a couple carries during the second quarter, with a total of 34 yards.
Starting the second half, the Eagles were down by 13 points, 14-27. The Eagles needed some big plays, both offensively and defensively, if they hoped to win their homecoming game. The scoreboard did not change for nearly half of the third quarter, before the Mustangs scored a touchdown with 6:52 left on the clock.
But the Eagles did not quit, as Reyes scored his second touchdown of the night with just 0:14 left on the clock. Lewis ran in the 2-point conversion. Salt River had narrowed the Mustangs’ lead to 11.
Defensively, Waters was able to get a sack in the third quarter. Salt River was able to gain a lot of ground on the field; unfortunately, it translated to only one touchdown. Hill led the way on the offensive end of the ball with eight carries.
Norris and Lopez also had some great carries during the third quarter, with 10 yards and 17 yards, respectively.
The fourth quarter began with both sides playing good defense and not allowing any points. The Eagles were down by 11, and the game was winding down. What Salt River needed was a big play—and that play occurred with a 99-yard return for a touchdown by Norris. Unfortunately, it was called back with two flags on the play, which offset the play, forcing the Eagles to take the ball on their own 2-yard line.
That ruling really drained a lot of the momentum out of the hearts of the Eagles on the field. However, the fans were still cheering hard for the student athletes, who were playing well all night.
Defensively, Hill was able to make a great tackle for a loss, and Lewis was able to get a couple more solo tackles. Offensively, Hill and Marez ran for 44 and 30 yards, respectively. Waters was able to put up 26 yards of his own.
Unfortunately, all those yards were not able to translate into enough points for the Salt River Eagles, who played their best game offensively of the season, putting up 30 points on the board, but losing 47-30.