Football fans at Dimond Alumni Field didn't need to see or feel the rain falling to know the turf was wet Friday.
East and Dimond combined for 10 fumbles in sloppy conditions, with East losing four and Dimond losing three. The Lynx did the best job of capitalizing on mistakes, walking away with a 30-6 Cook Inlet Conference win.
Rocky Vasai did his part by scoring all four of Dimond's touchdowns.
"I felt pretty good out there, getting all the touchdowns, but it wasn't just me," Vasai said. "It was about the team. Those linemen were pushing hard."
Vasai, a junior who plays running back and linebacker, finished with three rushing touchdowns and a touchdown reception, but he was still guilty of letting the ball slip from his grasp a couple of times.
"We're yelling at him, 'two hands on the ball,' " said Dimond coach Chris Borst. "He drives me crazy, but he's got such great effort and he works so hard. He's shifty and he's hard to tackle."
After dropping the season's first two games, Dimond has won three straight and sits at 3-2 overall and 3-1 in the CIC.
East, which didn't help its cause by committing 152 yards worth of penalties, fell to 0-5, 0-4 in the CIC.
"We had a lot of mental problems and just couldn't get anything going," said East lineman Isaac Terry, who recorded a couple of sacks and repeatedly knifed through the line to put the heat on Dimond backs. "Nothing was going right for us."
East's first big mistake led directly to Dimond's first touchdown. A botched snap on a midfield punt sent the ball bouncing back toward the East goal line, and Dimond recovered it on the 9-yard line. Two plays later, Vasai was in the end zone on a 5-yard run up the middle.
Things appeared to be going East's way when the T-birds made a goal-line stand and forced the Lynx to turn the ball over on downs at the East 1, but Dimond recorded a safety two plays later when Isaiah Pili sacked East quarterback Clayton Washburn in the end zone.
That gave Dimond a 9-0 lead with 4:33 to play in the half, and the Lynx just about put the game away with two more touchdowns before the break. Vasai caught a 12-yard touchdown pass from Jeremiah Maga with 1:28 to play in the half and then made East pay for a fumble on its own 18-yard line when Vasai punched in a 1-yarder with 14.6 seconds to go.
His team leading 23-0 at the half, Borst thought the Lynx might have gone into the locker room a little too full of confidence.
"We didn't play to our potential (in the second half), but we didn't quit," Borst said. "We played hard until the very end."
Vasai scored his last touchdown with 14.8 seconds to play on a seven-yard run that answered East's only score, which came earlier in the fourth quarter. East's Mila Talo caught a Dimond punt right on the 50-yard line and turned on the jets down the right sideline. Barely a finger touched him as he sailed into the end zone.
With three weeks left in the CIC regular season, East must win the rest of its games to have a shot at one of five CIC playoff berths. Dimond, while in a strong position with three wins, still faces the league's top three teams.
The Lynx play West next week, followed by South and then Service, which are the three top teams in the CIC and the last three state champs. South won it all last season, Service won a title in 2011 and West won one in 2010.
"We're not ready to be crowned any kind of champ or anything," Borst said. "We got three pretty good football teams to play still. Still, I tell our kids, 'If you play your game, you can play with anybody.' "
Reach Jeremy Peters at firstname.lastname@example.org or 257-4335.
East \t0 \t0 \t0 \t6 -- 6
Dimond \t7 \t16 \t0 \t7 -- 30
Dimond -- Vasai 5 run (Sedor kick), 43.9
Dimond -- Safety (Pili sack), 4:33
Dimond -- Vasai 12 pass from Maga (Sedor kick), 1:28
Dimond -- Vasai 1 run (Sedor kick), 14.6
East -- Talo 50 punt return (run fail), 8:49
Dimond -- Vasai 7 run (Sedor kick), 14.8
First Downs 5 14
Rushes-yards 23-34 43-139
Passing yards 51 57
Return yards 133 86
Passes 9-19-0 5-8-0
Punts 4-31.5 4-32.8
Fumbles-lost 5-4 5-3
Penalties-yards 17-152 12-81
Rushing -- East: Washburn 9-21; Lealao 5-9; Chase Hawk 6-8; Schnellbaecher 3-(-4). Dimond: Tanuvasa 11-79; Vasai 11-53; Coleman 7-13; Bratcher 2-7; Barrett 1-4; Tufaga 2-2; Maga 9-(-19).
Passing -- East: Washburn 9-19-0--51. Dimond: Maga 5-8-0--57.
Receiving -- East: Anthony Pili 2-28; Berry 2-9; Chase Hawk 2-5; Schnellbaecher 2-0; Motuga 1-9. Dimond: Buster 3-35; Vasai 2-22