NU blanks Elk Grove, runs The Streak to 42
A football team can’t control the loss of starters to injury, but it can control the way it plays without them.
The Nevada Union High football team played like missing three defensive starters didn’t matter as it rolled 31-0 over nonleague rival Elk Grove, Friday night at Hooper Stadium.
“The key tonight was the way the kids came together as a team,” said NU coach Dave Humphers, whose team improved to 3-0. “It’s been hard for this group to like each other but they jelled tonight. Their intensity in practice has picked up.”
The Thundering Herd, meanwhile, sorely missed top running back Don Jackson. The Herd managed only 104 yards of total offense as it failed to stop the Miners from winning their 42nd straight home game.
“The bottom line was we just did not play error-free football and Nevada Union played great,” said Elk Grove coach Ed Lombardi. “All the typewriter coaches (sports writers) were saying (the Miners) are not as good as in past years. This game should show they haven’t missed a beat.”
The fierce pass rush of NU linemen Bill Beede and Adam Galloway and airtight coverage of cornerback Mike Dwyer held Elk Grove junior quarterback Cable Davis to just eight completions in 24 attempts for 84 yards.
The 5-foot-11 Dwyer said he had looked forward to covering 6-foot-3 Elk Grove receiver Antwon Ellis, whom he held to 13 yards receiving.
“I wanted to take No. 80 on,” Dwyer said. “I hadn’t had a challenge like that yet this year. We knew all their patterns because our coaches did a great job scouting them.”
Beede led the Miners with eight tackles, including four solos and a sack.
Left halfback Isaac Ostrom took care of most of the offense, leading NU”s 233-yard, wing-T rushing attack with 135 yards and three touchdowns in just 11 carries.
Elk Grove (1-2) looked like it would gain the early momentum when it returned the opening kickoff almost to midfield and, aided by Cable’s fake-punt, 25-yard pass to Ryan Landrum, drove in 14 plays to the NU 10-yard line.
But solid coverage by Scott Fox (six solo tackles) and Dwyer forced three straight incompletions. The Herd attempted a 27-yard field goal, but Ostrom stormed in and blocked it.
The Miners needed just six plays to get on the board early in the second quarter, scoring on a 15-yard Ostrom run up the middle. Zach McSweeney tacked on the extra point for a 7-0 lead.
On the very next play from scrimmage, NU linebacker Nathan Allen picked off a Cable pass and returned it to the Herd 24. Despite a clipping penalty that forced the Miners to start from the 41, Ostrom needed only three carries to score on a 10-yard burst. The PAT sailed wide and the Miners led 13-0.
Cable then completed two screen passes to help the Herd march to the NU 27. But Galloway squelched the threat by picking off a pass at the line of scrimmage.
“I was so excited coming in and tried too hard to make the big plays because they have such a good defense,” said Cable. “Everything the coaches told me they’d do, they did.”
Nevada Union took the second-half kickoff and scored on its third play, an impressive 55-yard scamper by Ostrom. The senior broke a tackle at the 35 and outsprinted the secondary.
Elk Grove 0 0 0 0 ” 0
Nevada Union 0 13 6 12 ” 31
NU ” Isaac Ostrom 15 run (Zack McSweeney kick)
NU ” Ostrom 10 run (kick failed)
NU ” Ostrom 55 run (kick failed)
NU ” Jesse Wheeler 14 run (kick failed)
NU ” Bill Beede 12 run (kick failed)
Total offense 104 260
First downs 7 8
Rushes-yards 24-16 38-233
Passing 88 27
Comp-Att-Int 9-27-3 3-7-0
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 2-0
Penalties-yards 5-45 7-75
RUSHING ” Elk Grove, Jason Turk 5-20, Marcus White 13-9, Antwon Ellis 3-5, Brian Gallagher (-1), Cable Davis 2-(-17). Nevada Union, Ostrom 11-135, Wheeler 9-59, Beede 4-22, Chris Lackey 2-16, Brandon Brooke 2-12, Brian Akers 4-8, Ryan Fellers 1-4, Tim Secord 1-4, Chad Elliott 4-(-27).
PASSING ” Elk Grove, Davis 8-24-3-84, Brian Gallagher 1-3-0-4. Nevada Union, Chad Elliott 3-7-0-27.
RECEIVING ” Elk Grove, Turk 4-46, Ryan Landrum 1-25, Ellis 2-13, Joe Borges 1-4. Nevada Union, Wheeler 1-14, Mike Dwyer 1-9, John Link 1-4.
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