FAIRFIELD — Another week, another heartbreaking loss for the Vanden High football team.
Six days after dropping an overtime decision to Will C. Wood High, the Vikings botched an extra-point attempt in the fourth quarter and dropped a 22-21 non-league decision to Napa on Friday at Gammon Field.
“That’s the tough part, to lose two in a row like that,” Vanden coach LeVon Haynes said. “We fought hard and we couldn’t hold on. That’s OK. Napa is no slouch.”
The loss came despite some offensive fireworks, particularly from big-play wide receiver Dion Williams. He had eight catches for 129 yards and all three scores. Williams also had an 82-yard punt return called back on a penalty.
Quarterback Jadon Brisendine’s 7-yard scoring toss to Williams with 9 minutes, 31 seconds left gave Vanden its first lead and led to the fouled-up point-after attempt.
With regular kicker Brisendine not on the field, Vanden lined up. The holder and the bench both tried to call a timeout, but the officials didn’t see it and the attempt was smothered by Napa as Vanden’s players didn’t react to the snap.
“We were yelling for a timeout to get our normal kicker in,” Haynes said. “But they didn’t hear us. You can’t blame them for that.”
Napa took the ensuing kickoff and drove 82 yards in just over six minutes to score the game-tying touchdown, with Derek Poteet going in from 2 yards out. Napa then kicked the tie-breaking PAT and stopped Vanden on its subsequent drive.
“We can always bounce back,” said Williams, who also was a standout on defense. “We need to start preparing for our next game.”
Napa spent most of the game trying to figure out how to stop Williams. In addition to the 7-yard score, he had touchdown receptions of 61 and 5 yards and was on the receiving end of a two-point conversion.
“He’s been doing that all year,” Haynes said. “We just need other guys to step up and help him out.”
Williams said Friday’s performance was “what I do. I’m a playmaker. I just try to step my game up.”
Napa dominated much of the early going as Vanden’s offense struggled. It was 15-7 at halftime, but two Williams scores on passes from Brisendine – who completed 16 of 29 throws for 199 yards in the game – put Vanden in the driver’s seat.
For a while.
“The kids will bounce back and play hard,” Haynes said. “We’ll get back to work on Monday.”
Vanden, which dropped to 2-2 on the season, travels to Center of Antelope next Friday in its final non-league game.
In the junior varsity game, Vanden dropped to 1-3 with a 37-7 loss. Thomas Avent scored Vanden’s only touchdown on a 35-yard run.
“We got beat on a few big plays,” Vanden coach Christopher Pederick said. “Defensively, we were right there, except for the big plays.”
Nose tackle Anthony Hopson also had a big game.
Reach Brad Stanhope at 427-6958 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bradstanhope.