Nevada Union enters final week with playoff spot in sight |

Nevada Union enters final week with playoff spot in sight

Nevada Union's Kyle Cota throws a pass over the oncoming rush Friday night against Del Oro at Golden Eagles Stadium.
John Hart | The Union

Despite being barely over .500 and staring down the barrel of a possible losing record in league play, the Nevada Union football team may sneak into the postseason yet.

As it stands today, Nevada Union will make the playoffs if it wins or loses Friday night’s matchup with Sierra Foothill League front runner Granite Bay.

The Miners (5-4, 2-2 SFL) are predicted to edge their way into the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs even if they fall to the Grizzlies (6-3, 4-0 SFL), according to a projection.

If the Miners win, they are definitely in, according to the projection. If they lose, they will likely still make it based on their strength of schedule.

To make the Sac-Joaquin playoffs a team must be at least .500 and have at least two wins in league. Win or lose, the Miners meet both standards.

But that’s all in the future. NU head coach Dave Humphers said his team is focusing on this week’s game and this week’s game alone.

For the Miners’ sake, the focus better be sharp because they will have their hands full with a rolling Granite Bay team.

The Grizzlies have won five straight games and have scored more than 40 points in four of those victories.

Granite Bay’s league leading offense (32.2 points per game) is led by senior quarterback Grant Caraway.

“Their quarterback is a big, fast kid that also throws well,” Humphers said.

On the season, Caraway averages 120.9 yards passing per game to go with 15 touchdowns to only four interceptions.

Out of the backfield, the Grizzlies give the majority of carries to John Cooley. The senior averages just fewer than 100 yards per game and has tallied eight rushing touchdowns. Cooley has 844 yards rushing this season, which leads the SFL.

“Our defense has its hands full against both the pass and the rush,” Humphers said.

The Miners also boast a top-tier offense (32.2 points per game) with quarterback Kyle Cota continuing his stellar season.

The senior signal caller is tops in the SFL in passing yards (2,204) and second in touchdowns (19) and has thrown only four interceptions. Cota is coming off his best statistical game last week when he threw for 448 yards and three touchdowns.

The Miners will need to get a boost from the run game that accounted for 105 yards on 32 carries in last week’s loss to Del Oro.

“The more balance the better,” Humphers said. “We are a Wing-T, run-oriented offense, but we will take what the defense gives us.”

To reach Sports Writer Walter Ford, call (530) 477-4232 or email

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