The Miners ate up more than 450 yards rushing, had three backs break the century mark and scored six offensive touchdowns, but in the end, it was another lopsided loss for the Nevada Union football team.
The Miner offense was rolling Friday night at Hooper Stadium — the problem was so was Roseville’s. The Tigers jumped out to a 28-7 first quarter lead, then never let NU within 10, as Roseville earned their first Sierra Foothill League win of the season, 69-42, over the Miners.
“You put up 40 points for a team that’s been able to only score in the fourth quarter — good,” NU head coach Dennis Houlihan said. “It’s a stepping stone to build on, and I’m very proud of that.”
Roseville (4-4, 1-2 SFL) scored on its first drive as Matt Razzano scampered in from 22 yards out. The Miners then fumbled the Roseville kickoff, leading to another Tigers score, this time a 9-yard run from Roseville quarterback Kyle Downie. The senior signal-caller for Roseville had an incredible night, throwing for 118 yards and two scores and rushing for 102 yards and another two touchdowns.
Trailing 14-0, the Miners fought back, scoring on a Mo Nieves 6-yard run, in which the junior running back carried several defenders over the goal line with him. It was Nieves’ first touchdown of the season — a number he would add to before the night was over. Nieves concluded his night with 115 yards and three rushing touchdowns.
“Tonight was the first night I saw his knee look 100 percent,” Houlihan said. “He is definitely a threat when he is healthy.”
Roseville responded with a 71-yard screen pass for a touchdown that completely fooled the Miners. Razzano added another touchdown from a yard out, and with just over 11 minutes in the second quarter, NU trailed 28-7.
Razzano led the Tiger rushing attack with 152 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries.
Nieves cut the Roseville lead with a 9-yard score, again carrying Roseville defenders with him over the goal line.
But as they did all night, the Tigers answered. Razzano returned the NU kickoff 70 yards for a touchdown. Nieves and the NU offense responded with another short-yardage touchdown. But the Miner momentum was short lived as Downie took off untouched for a 79-yard touchdown run on a read-option play. Then, just before the half, Downie found Jonathon Lopez for an 11-yard score.
Leading 49-21 at the break, Roseville didn’t let off the gas in the second half, returning the NU kickoff 79 yards for the score to go up 56-21.
The Miners weren’t going to roll over, and with the offensive line chugging along like it was, NU went back to work.
Sophomore Edwin Dardon tallied his first touchdown of the season as a varsity player, scoring a 29-yard run. Dardon broke a tackle near the line of scrimmage and sped through the secondary for the score. Dardon had his best varsity game of the season with 141 yards and a touchdown on eight carries.
The Miner pass game got into the mix on NU’s next possession as sophomore quarterback Justus Spillner found Travis Owens for a 64-yard touchdown pass. Spillner’s pass reached Owens just as the defender was closing in, but Ownes snatched the pass, avoided the defensive back and was off to the races. Owens finished the night with two catches for 111 yards and the score. Owens was also the third leg of a hook-and-ladder play that went for 47-yards, setting up a Nieves touchdown. Owens would get a score on the ground a little later, coming on a 49-yard run. In addition to hitting 100-plus receiving, Owens also tallied 183 yards on the ground. Owens, Dardon and Nieves all set varsity personal bests for yardage on the ground.
“Our backs had good vision, they found the holes they didn’t hesitate, they made cuts full speed, our sophomore looked great, and those are the steps I was looking for,” Houlihan said. “Travis looked good. He actually looked like the kid I saw last year, he’s very fast. He just had to get more and more confident.”
Much of the offensive credit goes to the offensive line, which had its best game, as NU topped 640 yards of offense and scored six touchdowns. Anchoring the NU line are seniors Trevor Moore and Davi Pettinato and juniors Enzo Arata, Tyler Droivold, Nick McFall and Matt Cross.
Defensively for the Miners, they really couldn’t contain the Tigers’ offense all night. Gareth Noxon did wrap up seven tackles, Brandon Ennis tackled eight, and Josh Belendez took down six.
The Miners (0-8, 0-3 SFL) have a pair of games left this season, one against Del Oro Friday, before closing the season at Granite Bay.
JV: Roseville 39, Nevada Union 29
It was a back-and-forth affair for the Miners and the Tigers Friday, and when the final whistle blew, it was Roseville holding the edge.
NU’s Brody McCoy scored twice in the second half and three times in total to keep pace with the Tigers. McCoy finished with 103 yards on the ground, Brandon Mrozowski added 97 yards and a touchdown, and Kase Scott chipped in 41 yards.
Anthony Carcamo had five tackles and a forced fumble to lead the defense.
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, email email@example.com or call 530-477-4232.