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Finally, its Jesuit and Davis

By November 11, 2010

Enterprise staff writer

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For the first time ever prep soccer titans Davis and Jesuit will meet for the section championship.

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After breezing past visiting Edison, 4-0, on Thursday afternoon, DHS players and fans heard the news: “Jesuit beat Johansen, 5-0,” announced Blue Devil assistant coach David Robertson.

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Game on. Five-time Sac-Joaquin Section winner Davis will meet eight-time titleholder Jesuit for the 2010 crown on Saturday at Cosumnes Oaks High in Elk Grove. Game time is TBA.

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The Marauders come into the Big Game at 29-0 and ranked second in the land by the National Soccer Coaches\’ Association of America. The Devils are 23-3-2 and without a single vote in the polls.

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“Up until last year, the north played and the south played … so we never played each other in the finals,” a happy DHS coach Ashley Yudin said. “We got CIF to put them all together.”

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Thursday at Ron & Mary Brown Stadium, the soccer gods were kind to Davis, sending it a Cinderella .500 club in Edison (Stockton). The Tri-Cities Athletic League runners-up came to town with an 8-7-7 mark and were coming off a penalty-kick upset of cross-town rival St. Mary\’s — a team that had beaten the Vikings twice earlier in the season.

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Despite the losses, Yudin said Edison “played tight in all those games.”

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Not on this day …

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Facing yet another team that chose to pack its defense deep, hoping for the best, the Blue Devils jumped ahead at 4:34. Cyrus Ghaffari finished a big scrum in front of Vikes\’ goalie Javier Medina by bouncing his shot off Edison fullback Fernando Esparza and into the net.

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Then in the 13th minute, Quinn Kesser placed a dandy through-ball to a charging Dylan West. The junior attacker split a surprised defense and buried DHS\’ second score.

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EHS coach Ruben Martinez knew what he was up against as these Devils proved to be quicker and deft passers. He kept his defense back as the two teams kept each other in check until just before the break.

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With 30 seconds left, Davis\’ Alec Zavala sent an outlet perfectly to Ryan Gross, who then crossed to Ghaffari in the box. Had this been a Friday night two weeks ago at the football stadium, Ghaffari\’s chip shot would have put three points on the board. While it flew over the net, it went between the goalpost uprights.

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Edison started the final 40 minutes with three forwards, but only two midfielders in an effort to put more pressure on the Blue Devil goalkeeper Erik Anderson. About 10 minutes in, the changes almost paid off.

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Viking midfielder Adrian Moreno got loose in the box with Kesser and Alex Vivona on either side. Just as Moreno went to divide the pair, Kesser poked the ball away and the threat died.

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Back and forth the two schools went until at 59:04, DHS defensive specialist Tom Nolan captured an errant Edison pass, sent it north to Matt Austin, who delivered to Ghaffari just outside the box. When Ghaffari\’s mark fell down, it was two quick steps forward and blast. The Devils had their insurance, 3-0.

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As the clock wound down, Lee LeVerrier was given a nice pass by Gross. One move to dead-center 15 yards out and the powerful sophomore unloaded DHS goal No. 4.

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Now the gloves come off. Jesuit and Davis. For a year\’s worth of soccer bragging rights.

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“It\’s what we work for,” Yudin said. “To be in this position.”

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Notes: LeVerrier, since being called from junior varsity during the last week of conference play, has added a spark. A key sprinter during track season, LeVerrier adds an element of raw speed that could help keep double teams off West and Ghaffari. .. DHS and Jesuit were on a collision course last year, but the Blue Devils coughed up a hairball in a penalty-kick loss to Golden Valley. Yudin said his guys might have been looking past Golden Valley, thinking about the Marauders. Yudin said his team didn\’t talk about you-know-who until after Thursday\’s final whistle blew. … Nolan almost made it 5-0 in the 76th minute, when he beat the goalie and offered a right-footed nudge goalward. Unfortunately, the shot was rolling tantalizingly at snail speed and Moreno came off his man to clear it away, inches from a goal. … The Devils outshot the Vikes, 13-7.

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— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at [email protected] or (530) 747-8047. Comment on this story at www.davisenterprise.com. To view and purchase Blue Devil sports photos, visit http://davisenterprise.zenfolio.com

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