Alcala’s defensive play helps seal Davis victory over Pendleton

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YAKIMA, Wash. -- The little man came up big.

On a night when an avalanche of Davis injuries threatened to turn a dominating triumph by the Pirates into a disheartening defeat, Jordan Alcala — all 5-foot-4 and 191 pounds of him — saved the day.

By rising high.

After seeing Pendleton pare the Pirates’ 20-point halftime down to a one-touchdown margin Thursday night, Alcala leapt high in front the intended receiver to bat away a fourth-down pass at the goal line to preserve Davis’ 26-19 non-conference victory.

“I was going with the flow, with the quarterback,” Alcala said of the play, which came with fewer than 50 seconds remaining and the ball on the Pirates’ 10-yard-line. “I saw his eyes going towards my way, so I kind of backed up a little bit and just jumped up for it.”

When the tight end Alcala was assigned to cover stayed in to block for quarterback Kai Quinn, Alcala dropped into coverage and found himself five feet in front of the intended receiver, Trevor Sweet.

Sweet had had been the go-to receiver with four receptions on that final, 74-yard Pendleton drive, which began on the Bucks’ 16.

Leaping high at the goal line just in front of Sweet, Alcala made sure the fifth never got there.

For Davis (4-2 overall), the victory was definitely bittersweet.

Despite starting the game without line starters Christian Reyes and Chris Ferreira, punter Anthony Betancourt and key reserve Jonathan Villanueva — and then losing starting center Matt Lewis to a possible concussion on the opening kickoff — the Pirates played a near-perfect game over the first 11/2 quarters.

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