The last couple of games for the Nevada Union football team have been rough to say the least.
But nobody’s playing the blame game, said NU head coach Dave Humphers.
“With a couple of tough losses, it would make it easy to start pointing fingers,” Humphers said. “But that’s not the case. I think it speaks very highly of our players and their parents. This team is exactly what high school football should be.”
Nevada Union is coming off of one of its best weeks of practice, said Humphers.
“We’ve had full, fun and lively practices, and the kids are working really hard,” he said. “Our battle, our focus mainly was on getting our own team better. Defensively, I’m pleased with our week of practice.”
That’s good because the Miners have been outscored 78-28 in their last two contests, including last week’s 35-9 blowout loss to Rocklin.
Now, with high-scoring Woodcreek (31 points per game) coming to town, the Miner defense faces yet another difficult test.
Woodcreek has struggled the past two weeks with back-to-back lopsided losses to Placer (54-14) and Del Oro (38-7), but the Timberwolves tote the top scoring offense in the SFL and boast a host of players with game-breaker ability.
The Timberwolves offense starts with senior quarterback Stephen Nogosek. The elusive and lanky duel-threat quarterback averages 233.5 yards per game through the air and is second on the team in rushing with 208 yards, including a 59-yard touchdown run. Nogosek is efficient in and out of the pocket, completing 60 percent of his passes and throwing 14 touchdowns to only six interceptions.
Nogosek’s favorite target is senior Blake Robinson. The 6-foot, 2-inch, 210-pound wide receiver has 28 catches this season for 419 yards and six touchdowns.
In an effort to improve the Nevada Union pass rush, defensive tackle Cameron Townsend has been spending less time on offense and more time on defense, said Humphers.
“Right now, Cameron is majoring in defense and minoring in offense,” Humphers said.
The Miners have struggled against the pass this season both in coverage and getting pressure on the quarterback. Nevada Union has eight sacks in six games.
The Timberwolves’ run game isn’t lacking either, as they have a big and speedy back in junior Mitchell Layton. Through six games, Layton is averaging 114.3 yards per game and has punched in eight touchdowns. Layton has amassed more than 100 yards in four different games and rushed for more than 200 yards once.
For the Miners’ offense, it will look to bounce back from a lackluster effort against Rocklin (nine points, 196 total yards from scrimmage) and find its footing Friday.
The good news is Nevada Union is facing the SFL’s worst defense. The Timberwolves give up a little more than 43 points per game.
Last week the Miners, ran for a meager 40 yards on 30 carries. Their worst outing by far this season.
To contact Sports Writer Walter Ford call (530) 477-4232 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org