El Modena rolls behind Keefe


ORANGE – Dillon Keefe put El Modena on his back in the second half Thursday night against visiting El Dorado and never seemed to stop running.

Keefe rushed for 221 of his 269 yards in the second half and scored three of his four touchdowns in that span as the Vanguards opened North Hills League play with a 34-20 victory.

Keefe scored on runs of 29, 23 and 70 yards after a slow-paced first half. The Vanguards finished with 368 rushing yards as a team.

The Vanguards (7-1, 1-0) clung to a 7-0 lead at the half, getting their points on a 6-yard touchdown run by Keefe on their opening drive of the game.

El Modena made two key fourth-down stops in the second quarter that helped keep El Dorado scoreless in the first half. Christian Lopez made a nice open-field tackle on running back Robert Arroyo to stop him 2 yards short of a first down on fourth-and-6 from the Vanguard 40.

A 47-yard reception by Connor Leech moved the Golden Hawks into El Modena territory on their next possession. El Dorado (2-6, 0-1) lined up for a 20-yard field goal on fourth-and-goal from the 3, but then called timeout and put the offense on the field, where quarterback Jack Strouse threw incomplete to end that scoring threat.

The Vanguards then scored on all three possessions in the third quarter. Keefe finished off the first two drives with long touchdown runs before backfield mate Andrew Carvajal, who had three touchdowns runs called back on penalties earlier in the quarter, punched in a 2-yard run for a 27-0 lead entering the fourth.

Strouse finished 29 of 44 for 378 yards and three touchdowns, hitting Leech 12 times for 160 yards and a score.

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