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American River Messenger

Del Campo high steps past Bella Vista for 19th straight win

Sep 03, 2022 12:00AM ● By Story and photos by Shaun Holkko, sports editor

Del Campo senior running back Nas Jones high steps into the end zone during a 31-7 victory over Bella Vista on Friday, September 2 in Carmichael.

Del Campo high steps past Bella Vista for 19th straight win [5 Images] Click Any Image To Expand

CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - Is it really a rivalry if one team wins all the time?

According to the Del Campo High School varsity football team (1-2), there is indeed a rivalry between themselves and Bella Vista (2-1). That is despite a 31-7 victory on Friday, September 2, being the Cougars’ 19th consecutive win against the Broncos.

“It’s always going to be a rivalry because it’s close proximity,” Del Campo coach Matt Costa said. “We share a lot of kids and it’s in the same neighborhood so yeah it is still a rivalry. I still want to keep them on the schedule because they bring in a great gate.”

Additionally, Costa would like to bring back a rivalry game that started in 1976 but ended in 2015 due to tempers flaring amongst players and fans.

“Honestly the rivalry that I want to get back going again is Casa [Roble],” Costa said. “I think that’s one that interests me a little bit more right now.”

Junior running back Jordan Wiley wasn’t alive the last time his Cougars lost to the Broncos on Sept. 15, 2003.

“They’re a good team,” Wiley said. “They got a good program. Definitely building getting better and better. They’ll be good these next couple of years.”

RELATED: Bella Vista blows past Cordova in season opener

DC scored three unanswered rushing touchdowns in the first half to get out to a 22-0 lead. The first two came from the Illmatic, Nas Jones. The senior running back’s first score came in the first quarter as he high stepped into the end zone from 10 yards out. He converted the two-point conversion on the ground as well.

Jones nearly took a wide receiver screen 90-yards for the TD, but it was called back due to a block in the back. Jones scored again in the second quarter, this time from one yard out.

However, he was flagged for a second time and ejected due to excessive celebration for spinning the ball when he scored. The subsequent PAT from senior kicker Maleki Walton was missed. Jones finished with 12 carries for 45 yards and two TDs.

“We’re going to fight that,” Costa said. “That was a pretty weak ejection. So that’s just my opinion but we’re going to the league on that one.”

The ejection of the Illmatic Nas didn’t help BV on Friday night. Wiley got in on the fun without Jones, scoring on a sweep to the left followed by a successful two-point conversion with a run up the middle with 1:51 left in the first half.

“I think it was pretty stupid, but things happen,” Wiley said of the ejection. “He’ll be back in two weeks and it’s [all] good.”

The Broncos were able to avoid a halftime shutout as senior quarterback Ian James snuck the ball into the end zone on the ground with 30.1 seconds remaining in the second quarter. BV kicked the extra point to make the score 22-7 at halftime.

Broncos junior QB Aaron Mora entered the game in the second half in relief of James. Following a scoreless third period, Mora was clobbered by Cougars sophomore defensive tackle Demetri Brown for a safety. DC junior receiver Xander Diaz returned the ensuing safety kickoff for a TD from midfield. The extra point by Walton was good.

RELATED: ‘The greatest Del Campo team in history’

For the 19th straight time, the Cougars defeated the Broncos, this time by a score of 31-7. In the absence of Jones, Wiley totaled 21 rushes for 113 yards and a score.

“Wiley’s great, Wiley is fantastic, Jordan Wiley is a dude,” Costa said. “He’s kind of our Swiss-army knife. We use him at running back, we use him at receiver, we use him all over the place. So, it’s not like we’re losing a lot. Nas is fantastic, obviously it is still a hit. I think if we were at some other school, it would probably be a bigger hit.”

The two teams combined for 119 passing yards, with 40 of them coming from the starting quarterbacks, James and DC sophomore Angel Reyna. On the ground, James had two carries for four yards and a TD.

DC will seek its second consecutive win Friday at home against Woodland (1-2), with kickoff set for 7 p.m. BV has an extra week off to regroup with a bye, before traveling to Yuba City to take on River Valley (0-3) on September 16.