The Dons continued their 21-year winning streak against the Hillsdale Knights on Friday, Nov. 9 with a crushing 61–28 victory at Aragon.
On game day, the Dons ran onto the field pumped and ready to dominate. Their eagerness certainly showed in the first quarter. Senior J.D. Elzie scored on a rushing touchdown within the first minute of the game. After a quick turnover on downs, junior Marcel Jackson scored again in the second minute of the game. Throughout the entire first quarter, the defense shut down Hillsdale’s offense.
Coach Steve Sell claims, “I’m really proud of our pass defense. They stepped up their game.” The Dons continued pouring it on, with Jackson scoring another rushing touchdown six minutes into the game. When the first quarter ended, the Dons appeared to be in total control, with a score of 21–0.
The Dons carried their momentum into the second quarter, with senior Andrew Walker recovering a fumble and junior Patrick Pauni rushing into the end zone with 8:56 left in the quarter. The rushing touchdown brought the game score to 28–0.
However, the Hillsdale Knights would not go down without a fight. Hillsdale quarterback Cole Carrithers threw a 37 yard pass to wideout John Paran. Then, A.J. Bernal of the Knights rushed it in for a 5-yard touchdown with 5:47 left in the quarter, getting the Knights on the board with a score of 28–7. The Dons again fumbled the ball away on their next possession and Bernal rushed the ball in after a brief Knight’s drive. The Knights cut the lead in half and had made it a ball game again.
The Dons appeared to be struggling on offense. They were often penalized for false starts, making it difficult to put together a successful drive. However, junior and quarterback Nat Blood completed key passes to wide receiver and senior Aldo Severson. The Dons managed to score on a 15 yard rush by Senior Kyle Kaye with 38 seconds left in the half. This widened Aragon’s lead to 35–14.
After a halftime performance by the Aragon and Hillsdale cheerleaders and dance teams, the Dons ran onto the field, determined to pull away. They did just that. Senior Isiah Atchan intercepted the ball, which was followed by a rushing touchdown by Elzie. Hillsdale countered with a touchdown of their own, but that was all they could muster.
The Dons took over the fourth quarter. Senior David Manoa ran into the end zone, pushing the score up to 49–21. Senior Brandon Gordon then intercepted the ball and ran it all the way in, causing the Dons to run away with a 56–21 score. But they were not done yet. Kaye sprinted into the end zone for his second touchdown, hammering the nail into the coffin. The Dons finished with a crushing victory of 61–28.
Sell says, “This game was very special, playing a rival in front of the home crowd. It was fun and great for the kids. I’m glad we came out of here with a win.”
Following a close 32–31 win against Terra Nova, Blood and Severson were featured in the San Mateo Daily Journal as Players of the Week.
The Dons now stand at 7–3 in the league and will face Leland High School in the first round of CCS Division II playoffs tonight at 7 p.m. at Leland High School.