‘Timeless’ game fuels Dragons

Del Sol’s Derek Eamon ran for 290 yards and three touchdowns Friday night.

The numbers would be impressive in any game. The fact that he did it in just the first half of the Sunrise Region semifinal at sixth-ranked Basic made the statistics almost mind-boggling.

Eamon finished the ninth-ranked Dragons’ 42-27 victory with 410 yards, the fourth-highest total in state history according to the NIAA record book, and five touchdowns on 27 carries.

"It’s timeless," he said. "I never thought I’d have a game like that."

Eamon didn’t take long to get started, going 77 yards on the first play of the game down to the Wolves 7-yard line.

"The offensive line really set the tone right away. They opened up a hole for that big play," he said.

Dragons coach Preston Goroff was amazed by the performance of his senior running back.

"I told him right after the game that I’ve had a lot of good running backs as a coach, but that was the best individual performance I’ve seen," Goroff said.

Even with all of the offensive numbers, it was a defensive stand that helped propel Del Sol (9-2) to the victory.

Basic (7-4) had trailed 21-0 but was threatening to pull within a touchdown on its first possession of the second half.

The Wolves faced a fourth-and-goal from the 1, but Del Sol did not allow Martell Walker to cross the goal line on a plunge up the middle, stopping him within a foot of the goal line.

"That was huge. We didn’t lose the momentum before that, but it showed them that they couldn’t just move it up and down the field like we were doing," Eamon said.

He credited 6-foot-2-inch, 380-pound defensive lineman Waylon Ukpong with making the play.

"Running at that guy was not a good idea," said Eamon, who also plays linebacker.

Basic moved the ball well through the air. Robby Faiman threw for 276 yards and two touchdowns, and Justin Burdno caught 10 passes for 140 yards. But the Wolves could not keep up with Eamon’s offensive explosion.

Basic did have one last chance, however.

After cutting Del Sol’s lead to 35-21 with 8:30 to play in the game, Basic got a friendly bounce on an onside kick. The ball went high in the air, and several Wolves appeared to have a chance at recovering it. But it was Eamon who came down with it for the Dragons.

Seven minutes later, he crossed the goal line for the fifth time and Del Sol was moving on to meet Las Vegas in the Sunrise Region title game.

It will be the third straight time the teams have met for the region title. Las Vegas won the previous two seasons.

Eamon was not a part of those teams, but he hopes this year will be different.

"We’ve been in this situation before, but we’ve never got past this next round," he said. "So obviously we’re going to practice as hard as we can the next week to get ready for them."

Del Sol will play at Las Vegas on Friday night.

Contact reporter Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com or 702-224-5509.

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