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American River Messenger

Bella Vista blows past Cordova in season opener

Aug 22, 2022 12:00AM ● By By Shaun Holkko, sports editor

Cordova senior quarterback Kevin Lewis rushes for a long gain during a 48-14 loss to Bella Vista on Friday, August 19, in Rancho Cordova. Photo by Rick Sloan

Bella Vista blows past Cordova in season opener [5 Images] Click Any Image To Expand

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) – The Kyle Williams era got off to a rocky start Friday night in Rancho as the Lancers were soundly defeated by Bella Vista 48-14 in the season opener.

The Broncos (1-0) started fast, scoring two touchdowns in the first quarter. Senior quarterback Ian James dashed into the end zone from five yards out to score Bella Vista’s first points of the night. James scored the second TD with his arm, delivering a 44-yard pass to junior tight end Damian Rickett towards the end of the period.

James scampered in for a three-yard score with about five minutes left in the first half to extend the Broncos lead to three scores. Utility player, junior Carson Newman, who plays running back, defensive back and kicker, nailed the extra point with his leg after Bella Vista’s first two scores.

However, the junior successfully passed to senior fullback Joseph Sampognaro after the third TD, successfully executing a two-point conversion. Following another unsuccessful offensive drive from Cordova (0-1), the Broncos started with great field position on their fourth drive, concluding with a 15-yard rushing TD from junior running back Nolan Bernhard to make the score 29-0 with two minutes remaining in the first half.

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The Lancers got into scoring position late in the first half following a long run from quarterback Kevin Lewis. The senior captain finished the drive with a six-yard rushing TD to score Cordova’s first points of the game. Lewis dashed in for the two-point conversion, making the score 29-8 at halftime.

Newman nailed a 42-yard field goal to open the second half. James extended the Bella Vista lead with a 29-yard TD pass to Rickett and James rushed in for the two-point conversion. Bernhard rushed in from three-yards out and James completed a pass to Rickett for the two-point conversion with a minute left in the third quarter, putting a bookend to the Broncos scoring for the night.

Sophomore Victor Cubero broke away for a long run of 30-yards in the fourth to set up the Lancers’ second score of the night. Lewis rushed in from 25-yards out to score his second TD of the evening. However, Cordova failed the subsequent two-point conversion attempt, making the final score 48-14 in favor of Bella Vista.

James completed 7-of-14 pass attempts for 189 yards and two TDs in the air and had five rushing attempts for 27 yards and two TDs on the ground. Bernhard tallied eight carries for 108 yards and two scores. Rickett was James’ main target, catching five passes for 180 yards and two TDs.

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On special teams, the Broncos blocked six total punts, with four of them coming directly from junior defensive tackle Jacob Disney-Taylor. The Lancers stats were unavailable as of press time.

Bella Vista will host Cordova’s league rival, Johnson, Friday night in their home opener at 7:15 p.m. The Lancers will have an extra day of rest before playing at El Camino (1-0) on Saturday night at 7:15 p.m.