Del Campo coach Mike Dimino would rather not have a homecoming game. He understands the value of one, but did it really have to be scheduled against the undefeated Antelope Titans? With the Capital Valley Conference title likely on the line?
No matter. The No. 11 Cougars walloped the No. 10 Titans 33-10 to take control of the CVC with just two weeks left in the regular season. Del Campo moves to 8-0 while the Titans fall to 7-1 and had their 21-game CVC winning streak snapped.
“Homecoming is actually a huge distraction,” Dimino said. “They’re worrying about dates, flowers, restaurants, chaperones, limos and renting a tux. Back in the old days you’d play a rival for homecoming. Nowadays I’d like a little easier opponent (than Antelope) so if we’re distracted we don’t have to bring our best performance. This game couldn’t have come at a worse time of the season.”
Cougars quarterback Tyler Dimino hit a wide open Trevor Brouhns on a 72-yard strike to the Titans’ 5-yard line and scored two plays later after diving into the right front pylon. He later connected with David Joseph in the flat after allowing blitzing linebackers to rush in, and Joseph cruised 43 yards for another score.
Dimino, who is nursing a sore right ankle suffered two weeks ago against Whitney, passed for a modest 174 yards, guiding the Cougars through some tough spots early in the second half. He threw two interceptions, breaking a 14-game streak of no picks.
The Cougars held Antelope to 158 yards of total offense and a season-low 10 points. They made two interceptions and each set up a score.
“Their big plays are their reverse plays and their tricks plays, and that’s what we worked on this week in practice,” said Del Campo’s Marshaun Hunter. “They had their big people on one side of the ball and we had to equalize that so we could get to them.”
Hunter and Jordan Ford set the tone on defense.
“That’s DC football and that’s the way it’s been since I’ve been here,” Dimino said of the Cougars’ smash-mouth style. “That’s the way my teams played at Hiram Johnson and the way we played when Terry Stark and I were co-head coaches at Natomas way back when. I believe in controlling the football, play smash-mouth and block and tackle.”
“Del Campo has experience and Coach Dimino does such a good job,” Antelope coach Matt Ray said before the game. “He’s been successful there for a long time, and this is their marquee year. They’ve been preparing for this season for a long time. They seem to be hungry to get over that hump. And it’s a normal Del Campo team – big, physical and they get after you.”
Mike Dimino, especially, is hungry. It’s been three years since he last won a league title, which is eons for an old-school coach used to title banners and deep runs through the playoffs
“This is the longest I’ve ever gone without a league title. I’ve never gone more than two seasons without a title,” Dimino said. “We’ve been in the playoffs something like 14 out of 15 seasons and won seven league titles, but not in a while. It’s time.”
Del Campo 33, Antelope 10
Antelope (7-1) 7 0 3 0 - 10
Del Campo (8-0) 6 13 0 14 – 33
DC – Cabral 31 run (kick fail)
A – Paul 1 run (Gomez kick)
DC – Dimino 5 run (Rhea kick)
DC – Joseph 43 pass from Dimino (run fail)
A – Gomez 36 kick
DC – Cabral 4 run (Rhea kick)
DC – Markey 3 run (Rhea kick)