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Vecchio, Villa Park hold off Dana Hills
DANA POINT – The clutch play of tight end Louis Vecchio helped the Villa Park Spartans survive a wild fourth-quarter rally and remain undefeated Friday night.
Vecchio hauled in three touchdown receptions, including the go-ahead 61-yard touchdown with 5:23 remaining in the fourth quarter, as the Spartans outlasted the Dana Hills Dolphins 43-29 in a nonleague game at Dana Hills High.
“It was a good victory for us against a good team,” Spartans coach Dusan Ancich said. "Our guys responded when they need to and made big plays, which shows maturity."
In the first regular season meeting between the two schools, the Spartans (3-0) grabbed an 8-0 lead on their second possession, as Dylan Osborne lofted a 20-yard touchdown pass to Vecchio. Running back Ramon Chaves added a successful two-point conversion run.
Villa Park upped the lead to 15-0 midway into the second quarter, as Chaves powered into the end zone on a 6-yard scoring run.
The Dolphins (1-3) got on the scoreboard on their ensuing drive on a 11-yard touchdown pass from quaterback Mac Vail to wide receiver Drew Falk. A missed extra point left the score at 15-6.
A 1-yard touchdown reception by Vecchio later in the second quarter made it 22-6.
The Dolphins scored 16 straight points in less than four minutes to open the fourth quarter. Vail's 53-yard touchdown reception off a flea flicker pass from Ted Fitzgerald and a subsequent two-point conversion run by running back Justin Scott tied the game at 22.
In addition to his touchdown reception, Vail completed 9 of 17 passes for 205 yards and three touchdowns.
But the Osborne to Vecchio connection came up big again for the Spartans. Facing 3rd and 6 at the Spartans' 39-yard line, Osborne rolled to his right and fired a pass to Vecchio, who broke down the right sideline, stayed inbounds, and snuck into the end zone to make it 29-22.
“I caught the ball and just tried to keep my feet moving,” Vecchio said. “I felt two guys hit me and then put my speed on. Once I saw how close I was to getting the touchdown, there was no way I was going to let myself go out of bounds.”
Osborne, who completed 16 of 24 passes for 232 yards, was looking to Vecchio to make a big play.
“Louis and I knew that we had to convert to put us back up and win this game,” Osborne said.
Running back Ian Pogue added touchdown runs of 4 and 1 yards to seal the win for Villa Park.
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