It hasn’t been the greatest of seasons for the Etiwanda Eagles, which makes their performance against Damien tonight even more noteworthy. Coach Kevin Davis’ team went into the game with a 3-6 record and 1-3 in the Baseline League.
Damien went in a stellar 6-3 and was really the only team that put up much of a fight against mighty Rancho Cucamonga.
Davis was still convinced that a win over Damien would get his team into the playoffs and harped on that all week to his team. A win would mean the teams tied in the league standings but Etiwanda would have the head-to-head.
Well it wasn’t looking so good for Etiwanda which trailed 42-16 going into the fourth quarter. It wasn’t until several minutes later that the rally even started.
Davis said his team recovered two onside kicks and jumped on a Damien fumble which helped keep the ball rolling.
He credited running back Kasmir Dina and quarterback Tommy McDonnell for igniting the rally. Dina has seen a lot of playing time in place of the injured Lawrence Starks who has been out with a high ankle sprain.
McDonnell has been the starter much of the year but was on in relief of Justin Hamel.
The comeback was complete with a 7-yard slant pass from McDonnell to Geordon Porter with under a minute left.
Etiwanda 46, Damien 42
The teams are both in Division 4 which means Etiwanda would likely have to be taken ahead of Damien despite the worse overall record and Davis said there are other teams with worse records than his.
“It has to be one of the biggest wins we have ever had here,” Davis said. “I can’t even explain it. We’ll remember this one for a long time.”
Davis is the head coach but he also serves as the offensive coordinator. He decided to call the game from the press box which he has always done as an offensive coordinator but never as the head coach.
“I just thought I needed to do that to give us the best chance to win,” he said.
We’ll have to wait until Sunday to see just how that outcome affects the playoff draw. But it sure has sent a buzz through the Inland Valley tonight.
Etiwanda was 3-7 last year in the first year of the Davis tenure. It was still looking for a signature win. Well it is looking no longer.