Vista Del Lago High School quarterback Brent Schaeffer had put up some dizzying numbers Friday night before he was forced to the sidelines by the head referee in the fourth quarter to check for a possible concussion.
Schaeffer’s 394 passing yards and six touchdowns spun the heads of the visiting El Camino Eagles’ defense and lifted No. 14 Vista (7-2) to a 51-20 victory in a penultimate Capital Athletic League matchup at Folsom High’s Prairie City Stadium. He also scored on a 9-yard run.
“I was a little nervous when he walked off,” said senior wide receiver Brenden Hall, who caught 14 of Schaeffer’s passes for 247 yards and two TDs. “But I talked to him on the sidelines and asked, ‘You good bro?’ He said he was fine.”
Hall and Schaeffer have become quite the tandem.
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They developed a special chemistry over the summer as Schaeffer attended the First Down Quarterback Academy. He needed someone and something other than a used tire to throw to and Hall was happy to oblige his good friend.
They would play catch for hours, work on agility and fitness and then make a run to the nearest Dutch Bros. coffee house. Schaeffer always paid, Hall said. Every good quarterback does.
Friday against the other Eagles, Schaeffer and Hall worked easy slants over the middle into huge gains as El Camino rarely got out of a zone. Hall’s soft hands easily cradled Schaeffer’s passes that are delivered with a three-quarters sidearm motion. The unusual technique enables Schaeffer to release the ball quicker and then get to a nice vantage point to watch Hall or Blake Tuter break away for a long gain. Tuter had four catches Friday for 65 yards – three for touchdowns, including a nifty swing pass on the game’s third play that went for 50 yards.
“The last three weeks we have really executed well,” Vista coach Mike Struebing said. “We’ve been very efficient on offense and we did all the things we wanted to do tonight.”
Schaeffer now has 37 touchdown passes on the season and just two interceptions.
Vista is driving for its third consecutive league title and faces Christian Brothers at Hughes Stadium next Friday for the CAL’s top spot. The Falcons (7-2) thumped Casa Roble 48-18 Friday and both Vista and Christian Brothers are 4-0 in CAL play.
“It’s going to be another huge game,” Hall said. “It’s fun to play in that huge stadium, and it’s become a rivalry game since it seems to always come down to us two.”
Hall played in Hughes as a sophomore two seasons ago, but said next Friday will be extra special.
It was the last regular-season “home” game for the Vista Eagles as they move into a newly renovated stadium on their own campus next season. Vista may host a playoff game on the Folsom High campus in two weeks depending on the outcome against Christian Brothers. At least the unique blue turf matches the Vista uniforms.
“It’s about time,” Struebing said of the new field. “We’ve been waiting for our new stadium for years. We thought we were going to play on campus this season but they made a bunch of improvements such as a fieldhouse and a snack bar. It’s all for the best.”
Mark Billingsley is a Carmichael-based freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org or @editorwriter001
El Camino (5-3) 7 13 0 0 – 20
Vista (6-2) 18 14 16 3 – 51
V- Tuter 50 pass from Schaeffer (run fail)
V – Hall 25 pass from Schaeffer (pass fail)
V – Tuter 2 pass from Schaeffer (pass fail)
EC – Armstrong 88 pass from Fleming (Guzman kick)
V – Hall 34 from Schaeffer (pass fail)
EC – Fleming 80 run (kick fail)
V – Schaeffer 9 run (pass good)
EC – Horne 33 pass from Fleming (Guzman kick)
V – Tuter 7 pass from Schaeffer (pass good)
V – Olives 14 pass from Schaeffer (run good)
V – Bader 19 field goal