High School Sports

Vista del Lago loves its new field. So does Placer, which spoiled Eagles’ homecoming

Vista del Lago’s Dominick Norris (34) rushes against El Camino during last season when they played their home games at Folsom High School. Norris and the Eagles officially dedicated their new home field Friday night but lost to Placer.
Vista del Lago’s Dominick Norris (34) rushes against El Camino during last season when they played their home games at Folsom High School. Norris and the Eagles officially dedicated their new home field Friday night but lost to Placer. Sacramento Bee file

With the snip of a dark blue ribbon, the new football field at Vista del Lago High School in Folsom was officially dedicated Friday night. And then the Placer Hillmen put their stamp all over it with a 43-28 victory.

It was also the first on-campus homecoming in the school’s 10-year history. In years past, Vista’s “home” games were held at Folsom High. But now, the school of approximately 1,500 students – and its football team – can work toward a new identity.

“I was a little shocked and surprised that they would select us as their homecoming game and it would be a lie to say we didn’t take that a little personal with the success our program has enjoyed over the last decade,” Placer Hillmen coach Joey Montoya said. “But at the end of the night that didn’t really matter. What mattered was our kids came out and executed the game plan.”

That plan was to keep Sac-Joaquin Section leading runner Dominick Norris off the field as much as possible by dominating time of possession. Norris had 102 yards rushing at the half, but was held to just 34 yards afterward. He scored on two 6-yard runs, both in the second quarter.

With Norris watching from his sideline, Placer’s Marshall Chapman provided the sprints off the misdirection that is the hallmark of the wing-T, while Mario Perez gave the short-yardage power. Anthony Kerrigan scored twice on passes from Michael Stuck, Perez had two 1-yard scoring runs and Chapman had scoring runs of 4 and 22 yards.

“A defense’s best friend sometimes is a great offense, and for us we were able to run the ball the way we needed and we executed in the passing game tonight and felt that the offensive line really played well,” said Montoya, whose squad moves to 4-1 heading into a bye week. “They made some adjustments so we had to, too, and at the end of the night it came down to execution and our kids did that.”

Vista coach Mike Struebing said the move this season into the new stadium has been a long time coming. The synthetic grass field and rubberized track have been installed for years at Vista, but the aluminum bleachers on the home side were installed just in time for the Class of 2017 graduation ceremony. The Eagles had home victories over Ponderosa (50-28) and Cordova (54-33).

“We’ve certainly enjoyed the two home games here,” Struebing said before Friday’s loss. “The atmosphere is great. It’s a much different feel from (Folsom High). It seems like there’s more energy here and the community is excited to see us holding games here.”

Placer 43, Vista 28

Placer (4-1) 14 14 0 15 – 43

Vista (2-3) 8 12 0 8 – 28

V – Wilson 48 pass from Patterson (Norris run)

P – Chapman 4 run (run fail)

P – Kerrigan 28 pass from Stuck (Chapman run)

V – Norris 6 run (run fail)

P – Perez 1 run (Meyer kick)

V – Norris 6 run (run fail)

P – Perez 1 run (Meyer kick)

P – Kerrigan 20 pass from Stuck (Meyer pass)

V – Northcutt 40 pass from Patterson (pass good)

P – Chapman 22 run (Meyer kick)

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