Inderkum Falls Short In D-III Semifinals

Vista del Lago Takes Lead,
Wins With 22 Seconds To Play

 
BY TREVOR HORN
THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

With a perfect pass to a speedy receiver, it seemed for a moment that Inderkum High School was ready to make a second trip to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III title game.

With two minutes, three seconds to play in the game, CJ Spencer found Larry Hardy for a 79-yard touchdown pass to give the Tigers a 21-20 lead.

“That was probably the biggest play of my high school career so far,” Spencer said. “The most exciting, also.”

But the Eagles, on a long ensuing kickoff return to the Tigers 34-yard line scored on a nine-yard rushing touchdown by Josh Pfeffer with just 22 seconds to play, ending Inderkum’s season just one game short of a berth to the section title game. Vista del Lago won 28-21 Friday night at Folsom High School stadium.

Emotions overcame Inderkum players on the sideline after the game.

Senior linebacker Kevin Blueford, in tears, apologized to his coaches—despite putting up one of the greatest seasons in the short history for Tigers football.

“It hurts a lot,” Blueford said. “We put all we could into it and we just came up that short. Just two minutes short.”

Vista del Lago, 12-1 this season, will play top seed Oakdale in the D-III title game Nov. 30 at Lincoln High in Stockton.

For the Tigers, the season seemed to end too soon.

“(Vista) is probably if not the best, one of the top couple of teams we have played all year,” Stark said. “They battled defensively. We were waiting on that one play, and we finally got it. We just got it with too much time left in the game.”

Inderkum (10-3) has won at least ten games each season for the last seven seasons (a feat second only to Escalon in the section).

And if there is consolation for the Tigers, it’s the promise of next season which will see at least 11 returning starters, including Spencer at quarterback, the top three receivers, the second leading rusher in Terence White, most of the secondary and a core group of defensive linemen.

“I am always excited,” Stark said. “We will get started right when we get back to school. I just wish we could play another game or two. I always feel for the seniors.”

Blueford explained why America loves high school football so much.

“There is no feeling like high school football,” Blueford said. “The passion that every kid has for it and the class that I rode with – I couldn’t ask for a better class to ride with. The only regret is that we came up two minutes short.”

Follow Trevor Horn on Twitter @trevhorn and send story ideas to [email protected]

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