CLOSER LOOK: La Sierra QB Derrick Cruz

Take a closer look at Riverside La Sierra junior Derrick Cruz and you’ll see a steady leader who just had his season end despite his best effort.

Cruz accounted for two touchdowns — and was within fingertips of a third — after conducting a terrific fourth-quarter comeback attempt that came up short.

La Sierra (2-8 overall, 2-3 River Valley) lost 17-16 to Moreno Valley in a Week 10 River Valley League game.

The victory spelled the end for the Eagles, who could have advanced to the CIF-Southern Section Eastern Division playoffs with a victory.

The funny thing is no one expected La Sierra to have a chance in this game, and it’s a credit to Eagles’ leaders that they were so close.

I caught up with Cruz after the loss, and he was not visibly emotional.

What’s the feeling like right now?

“We came out, played as hard as we could. Not much we can do about it. We just played out hearts out,” Cruz said. “It was the last game of the season. The seniors showed it. We tried to do the best we could to get the ‘W’ and get to the playoffs but it just didn’t work out.”

What were you thinking during the comeback?

“We just had the momentum. We were just playing football,” he said. “We couldn’t get it together the first couple quarter but towards the end put it all together and got some momentum coming back.”

What will you take from this game?

“To not let any play go to waste – just play your heart out every play and ball out,” he said.

He’s going to come back a better player next season. Then who knows? Norte Vista can’t win the RVL forever.

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