Tennyson and De Anza during a timeout on Friday night
Donnell Ragsdale

Big night from Evans leads De Anza past Tennyson

November 3, 2018

De Anza quarterback Taemon Evans threw for five touchdown passes on Friday night, leading the seventh-seeded Dons past Tennyson, 45-22, in North Coast Section Division III first-round playoff action.

"It was a hard fought win. (Tennyson) has great talent," said De Anza coach Tyree Reed. "Our offensive line gave Taemon enough time to deliver great passes down the field, and in the end, our defense came up with enough to give our offense the ball to score."

A short touchdown run by Sammy Thayer gave De Anza (6-5) an early first quarter lead, and Evans got his big night with a 55-yard touchdown pass with four minutes left in the first, giving the Dons an early 13-0 lead. Tennyson cut into the lead on a short scoring run from quarterback Mustafa Nassirruddin to make it 13-7 at the end of one quarter, but a 29-yard touchdown pass from Evans on third-and-long capped the next De Anza drive and re-upped the lead to 12 points, at 19-7.

With less than a minute remaining in the first half, it appeared Tennyson would gain some momentum going into the break, when Nassirruddin connected with Quincy Bass for an 11-yard scoring pass, cutting the lead to 19-14. But the turning point came right before the end of the half, when Evans improbably delivered a 65-yard touchdown pass in the final seconds for a 25-14 halftime advantage.

De Anza pulled away in the third when Evans connected with Thayer for a 26-yard touchdown pass on fourth down of the Dons' initial second half drive. Raymond Luna added a 17-yard scoring run later in the third quarter, as the De Anza lead swelled to 39-14. Tennyson standout Ja'kobe Harris finally reached the end zone during the fourth quarter, on a 20-yard scamper, but the Dons put the game later in the fourth on a 35-yard connection between Evans and Thayer for the final points of the night.

De Anza advances to face two seed Eureka in the quarterfinals. The unbeaten Loggers had a bye in the first round.

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