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El Diamante pounds its way to D2 Valley Championship

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The game plan was simple—control the line of scrimmage and pound it up the middle—and El Diamante executed it to perfection, as the Miners defeated Garces, 28-14, for the Division II Valley Championship on Friday.

Although the Miners’ 4.5 yards per carry may not be the most eye-popping statistic in high school football, their run game methodically ate up the clock and wore down the Garces defense.

With his line clearing a path, El Diamante junior running back Alex Schapansky led the Miners with 27 carries for 166 yards and two touchdowns. Keylan Liles added 10 carries for 34 yards and his older brother Darius Liles rushed four times for 13 yards and a touchdown.

But the defense really sealed the win for the Miners.

Coming off a 274-yard performance, Garces’ game-changing running back Sheldon Croney was held under 100 yards in the championship.

The Miner defense was particularly suffocating in the first half, limiting Croney to just 10 carries for 26 yards.

Croney and the Rams offense came out stronger in the second half finished the game with 20 carries for 96 yards and a touchdown.

With El Diamante slowing down the run game, Garces had to pass more than it’s comfortable with. Rams quarterback Pavletich completed 18-of-36 passes for 211 yards and a touchdown, but he also threw three interceptions in the game.

Garces wide receiver Dominic Frasch had a huge night in his final high school football game, catching seven passes for 147 yards and a touchdown.

El Diamante quarterback JC Robles completed 6-of-14 passes for 171 yards, a touchdown and an interception.

Schapansky also led the Miners in receiving with his singles catch—a 75-yard touchdown reception. Tight end Nick Bigger added two catches for 46 yards.

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