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HEARTBREAKER - Bruin Football Takes First Loss of Season, 14-13
Trailing by a score with eight minutes and 45 seconds to play in Friday's highly anticipated showdown with visiting Delhi, Riverbank High senior quarterback Alex Reynaga broke loose on a fourth down scramble at midfield only to be tripped up by a diving defender.

As he crashed to the grass, Reynaga spun and lunged towards first down territory with an outstretched arm clinging to the pigskin. Minutes later a chain gang measurement confirmed the football was a fraction of an inch even with the marker, awarding Reynaga's efforts with a new set of downs.

A few plays later Reynaga delivered more heroics with a dazzling 40-yard strike to lanky Dalton Woitysiak, but a muffed snap prevented the equalizer during the extra point and Riverbank settled for a 14-13 loss to the Hawks.

"It was a real close, hard-fought game," first year Riverbank coach James Oliver said. "It was one of those games that we have to learn to fight through, which is part of the process of building a program."

Oliver's former teammates from Riverbank's last team to win a Trans-Valley League championship (1978) were honorary captains during the affair, and stayed to watch Riverbank (2-1) lose their first game of the season.

The Bruins could have stayed undefeated if not for a costly fumble into the Delhi end zone on a play that should have put Riverbank up by a score midway through the opening quarter.

Seven minutes later, Reynaga put Riverbank on the scoreboard for a 7-0 lead going into the half with an eight-yard burst to pay dirt.

Delhi fired back with Antonio Cervantes touchdown runs in the third and fourth quarters, the second sparked by a long sweep along the right sideline after Delhi sealed the edge by what seemed to be a blatant block in the back on Joaquin Felix that didn't draw yellow laundry.

The Hawks stayed ahead when Riverbank's extra point snap dribbled across the grass before Jose Vigil could kick it into a wall of defenders with five minutes to play.

Delhi ran out the clock to ensure a victory.

Reynaga finished with just 65 yards rushing against a Delhi defense determined to take away the big play. The Hawks kept the ball out of his hands by eating away clock time with an unconventional run formation that left all 11 players positioned around the center for grinding run after run.

Riverbank will tackle their last non-conference game of the season against visiting Big Valley Christian on Friday.

The Lions (1-2) played tough last week during a 36-28 loss to a Waterford team that Riverbank beat in overtime on Sept. 26.

"We have got to learn to turn the page," Oliver said. "We have a few things that we need to work on and I am sure our kids will bounce back and play hard."