One Pleasanton high school football team extended their successful season at least one more week, while the other saw what could only be termed a torturous season come to an end.
Foothill advanced to the North Coast Section D-II semifinals with a 39-13 thumping of San Leandro, while Amador Valley fell 69-7 to Pittsburg in the first round of the Open/D-I playoffs.
To steal and paraphrase a line from Charles Dickens, it really was a tale of two seasons for the two schools.
The Dons came into the season looking loaded for bear with a big, physical and talented roster and confidently jumped out to a 4-0 start.
The fourth game -- a 13-0 win over Granada -- was the third straight shutout for the Dons, seeing the team only give up seven points total in the first four games.
Few could have foreseen it would be the last game the Dons would win the rest of the season.
It started with game five against crosstown rival Foothill. The Falcons got the 21-17 win due in large part to three time-consuming drives, something the Dons had not allowed the first four games.
It was also heading into the Foothill games that injuries started to plague Amador, followed by some COVID issues. Simply, the team was never right the rest of the season.
If something could go wrong for Amador, it did.
There was a five-game stretch where Amador averaged only 10.8 points per game, which is just not going to cut it in the brutal Mountain Division of the East Bay Athletic League.
In the regular season finale, the offense did put 34 points on the board against California, but the team gave up 49 points. That came in the middle of a brutal three-game stretch where the team gave up 159 points.
EBAL is one of the toughest if not the toughest leagues in Northern California, with little to no margin for error. While this was a nightmare of a season for Amador, rest assured the Dons will be back next season with a vengeance.
There were plenty of key players like Brady Nassar, James Rothstein and Nate Jetter that were underclassmen this season. There is also a lot of talent in the JV and freshman classes. Put that together with a strong freshman class coming in next fall and the cupboard is certainly not bare for the Dons.
I fully expect to see a bigger and better Amador team next season under the guidance of coach Danny Jones.
As for Foothill, there is still more to be written on this season.
The No. 3-seeded Falcons will make the trip to Rohnert Park on Friday to face No. 2 seed Rancho Cotate. I expect this to be a great football game as both teams fight for a spot in the championship game.
Foothill NIL signees
The Falcons celebrated their athletes that signed national letters of intent for collegiate athletics on Nov. 10.
The following athletes are taking their sports prowess to the next level:
Jack Basseer (baseball, Pepperdine), Evan Bilter (baseball, College of the Mines, Colorado), Grayce Olson (volleyball, UCLA), Sophie Minnite (soccer, Cal Poly), Sadie Brown (soccer, Claremont McKenna), Makenna Meyers-McNerney (soccer, Westmont College), Samantha Lim (soccer, Emory University) and Chanhee Ryu (golf, Cal Baptist University).
Congrats to Crawford!
It came as no surprise that San Francisco Giants shortstop and former Foothill multi-sport star Brandon Crawford won his fourth Golden Glove award.
If you didn't see any other play this year, Crawford's ladder-climbing catch in Game 3 of the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers shows the amazing ability the 34-year-old still brings to the table every single day.
With the series tied 1-1 and the Giants clinging to a 1-0 lead in the 7th inning, Mookie Betts of the Dodgers came to the plate with two on and two outs. Betts smoked a line drive headed for left, but Crawford went up high to grab the liner and take the steam right out of the Dodgers.
I have written for many years that Crawford is among the top athletes I have ever seen at the high school. That he is still among the elite in Major League Baseball is no surprise to those that were blessed to see him play in high school.
Congrats Brandon on yet another well-deserved award!
Editor's note: Dennis Miller is a contributing sports writer for the Pleasanton Weekly. To contact him about his Pleasanton Preps column, email [email protected]