Sacramento - Twice in the past two weeks, Pleasant Grove’s football team found itself down by 14 points in the second half of its games. Last week in the opener of the Sac-Joaquin Section’s Division I playoffs, the No. 10 seeded Eagles were trailing seventh-seed Stagg, 21-7, but rallied to win, 22-21.
On Saturday, and on the road for the second week in a row, Pleasant Grove wasn’t so lucky. Rallying from a 32-14 deficit in the fourth quarter, the Eagles did put 13 points on the board in the final period, but ran out of time losing to undefeated Burbank, 32-27.
The Eagles concluded the season with a 7-5 mark.
“Of course, we’re disappointed with the end of the season, but our kids played really hard against an outstanding football team,” Pleasant Grove head coach Joe Cattolico said. “I don’t think our kids have anything to hang their heads and be ashamed about. We just came up a little short.”
The Metro Conference Titans (12-0) used long scoring plays, plus a couple lucky breaks, to eliminate Pleasant Grove. Running back/defensive back Calvin Green used his speed on the outside to get several key first downs, score on a 49-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, and catch a 16-yard pass from Burbank quarterback Ernest Jenkins on the first play of the fourth quarter on what eventually was the difference in the game.
Eagle running back Isaiah Saunders ran impressively in the first half and had Pleasant Grove’s first two touchdowns, one on a five-yard run and the other on a three-yard plunge, to give the Eagles a 14-6 lead. From there Pleasant Grove couldn’t stop the big-play Titan offense.
“Like any football game between two good football teams, there’s plays on either side that could have made the difference,” Catollico said. “We knew coming in that we’d have to win more plays because when (Burbank) wins plays it’s a 60-yard play. When we win a play, it’s a 10-yard play.”
After gaining 57 yards in the first half, Saunders finished the game with 88 yards on 19 carries. Ian Broom gained 88 yards on 11 carries.
Burbank had three runners rush more than 100 yards Saturday – Williams had 134 yards on 23 carries, Green gained 110 yards on eight carries and Jenkins ran for 110 yards on 14 keepers.