Miners overmatched by tough Elk Grove squad
In a matchup of Northern California football powers the Thundering Herd of Elk Grove ran wild on the Nevada Union Miners Friday night in Elk Grove for a 43-19 win.
The Thundering Herd (5-0) rumbled for more than 400 yards rushing and five touchdowns as they blew out a bewildered Nevada Union squad.
Robert Frazier was nearly unstoppable for Elk Grove rushing for 293 yards on 24 carries for three touchdowns, all of which were more than 44 yards.
“That was quite a performance by their team tonight,” Nevada Union head coach Dave Humphers said. “If you make them run 10 or 12 plays, then your chances of stopping them goes way up percentage-wise, and bend but don’t brake. But if a team gives up big plays, then you’re in trouble.
“We didn’t execute defensively in the second half and that hurt us big time.”
Elk Grove’s No. 2 back Wadus Parker added 92 yards on 11 carries and two touchdowns. Parker also returned a fumble recovery 75 yards for a score.
For the Miners (3-2), it was a tale of two halves.
In the first, the Miners fell down early after a Parker 3-yard score, and it looked as if the Thundering Herd were going to put in another score, but Nevada Union’s Terry Graham fell on an Elk Grove fumble as it was threatening.
Starting from their own 4-yard line, the Miners drove 96 yards on 11 plays, ending in a perfect over-the-shoulder pass from Kyle Cota to Austin Marks for a 33-yard touchdown.
With the score knotted at 7-7 in the second quarter, the Miners took their first lead when Cota found Ian Davis on a 10-yard slant for the touchdown.
Cota finished the night with 274 yards on 21-of-32 passing with two touchdowns and one interception, his first of the season. Davis was Cota’s main target with 151 yards on 11 receptions and a touchdown.
The Miners lead was short lived though, as Frazier busted a 44-yard touchdown run on Elk Grove’s next play from scrimmage.
At half the Miners trailed by only one at 14-13 due to a blocked extra point.
In the second half, Frazier picked up where he left off, this time taking the ball 76-yards for a touchdown on Elk Grove’s second play of the half.
The Miners turned the ball over on their next possession, Nevada Union had four on the night but were able to stop Elk Grove inside the 10 for a second time when Miguel Espinosa recovered a loose ball on the Elk Grove four.
But the Thundering Herd’s defensive line, which had hounded Cota all night, got to him in the endzone for the safety to put Elk Grove up 23-13.
Nevada Union held the Herd after the free kick, getting the ball in good field position, but a Cota fumble was scooped up by Parker and run back 75 yards for the score.
Down 29-13, Nevada Union went pass heavy as Cota completed 5-of-5 passes to march the Miners down the field, ending in a Tanner Vallejo 13-yard touchdown run. The two-point try was no good.
With the score 29-19, Frazier went back to work, this time scoring on a 56-yard touchdown run to put Elk Grove up 36-19.
The Miners looked to answer, completing a 48-yard pass from Cota to Davis to move into scoring position, but another fumble cost the Miners a chance to creep back in the game.
Parker put the game out of reach in the fourth with a 59-yard touchdown run.
The Miners finish non-league play at 3-2, with losses to Pleasant Grove and Elk Grove, both teams ranked in the top-20 according to MaxPreps.com
Defensively for the Miners Vallejo led the way with 15 tackles and a forced fumble, Gareth Noxon had 12 tackles, and Hank Humphers had seven. Davi Pettinato added a sack.
The Miners have a week off before Sierra Foothill League play gets started. Nevada union will take on Rocklin Oct. 5.
JV: Nevada Union 28,
Elk Grove 21
The Miners racked up more than 300 yards rushing and got a late score to top Elk Grove Friday night.
With just eight seconds left, Travis Owens punched in the game-winning touchdown as NU found its way again after falling to Chico last week.
Owens finished with 190 yards and two touchdowns. Monserate Nieves added 199 yards on the ground and a touchdown in the win.
The Miners have a break next Friday before taking on Rocklin at home Oct. 5.
To contact Sports Writer Walter Ford, email email@example.com or call (530) 477-4232
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