PREP FOOTBALL: Miners rout River City for 3rd straight win (VIDEO/PHOTO GALLERY)
When Jaxon Horne gets his hands on the football, his mindset is simple.
“Just trying to score,” said Nevada Union’s junior running back. “Try and score, and get as many yards as possible.”
He did just that. Horne rushed for a game-high 167 yards and scored five touchdowns in the Miners’ 63-6 blowout win over River City Friday night at Hooper Stadium.
“There were holes everywhere,” said Horne, praising the effort by NU’s offensive line. “My offensive line, jeez, they are probably the best O-line in the league. They were opening up all kinds of holes.”
Horne has been on a roll of late, topping 100 yards rushing in each of his last three games and he now has 11 ground scores on the season. His five touchdowns on Friday tied a school record for a single-game.
The Miners (3-1) also found success through the air as junior quarterback J.T. Conway tossed a pair of first half touchdowns.
“J.T. Conway played a heck of a game,” said Nevada Union head coach Brad Sparks. “The game is starting to slow down for him. We noticed that last week at Harbor and he showed it tonight.”
Conway’s first touchdown came when he hit Drake Schlachter on a wide receiver screen that went for a 43-yard score. He also found tight end Matt Dal Bon with an 18-yard dart that put the Miners up 28-0 in the first half.
“We’re playing more as a team on offense,” said Conway. “We’re playing together. We’re playing for each other. I know when I roll out on a pass, I trust my receivers to catch it and I trust my line to block for me.”
Also getting in on the scoring was Gabe Baker, who reached pay dirt on a bruising 15-yard run in which he flattened the final defender in his way. Baker finished with 54 rush yards on six carries.
Senior receiver Ben Taylor added the cherry on top, scoring on a fly sweep from 19-yards out in the fourth quarter.
“I tip my hat to the offensive line, for sure,” said Sparks. “We are physical. We are big and we don’t make a lot of mistakes up front. Honestly, I tip my hat to (offensive line coach) Andrew Jackson. We are as good as we because he’s a heck of a coach.”
Leading the Miners up front was senior center David Rueckert, tackles Isaiah Carter and Ezra Tout, and guards Sammy Slay and Kyler Case.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Miners were downright stingy. They held River City’s passing game to just 47 yards on 17 attempts and picked off a pair of passes. NU’s Tino Sanchez-Lane and Schlachter each grabbed an interception in the win.
Linebackers Duke Morales and Baker, as well as defensive back A.J. Meyer also played well, holding the River City ground attack in check for most of the night.
CAN I KICK IT? YES YOU CAN
The Miners were also strong on special teams as both their kickers shined. Moises Tovar made all nine of his extra point attempts, and kickoff specialist Sanchez-Lane put seven of his nine kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks.
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
The Miners have started a new tradition this season in which they honor several players each week as the Tractor Supply Practice Players of the Week. This week’s honorees are Ben McCandless, Brenner Krogh, Jeremy Nettles and Schlachter.
ON A ROLL
Nevada Union has now won three straight, and has one non-league contest left before Foothill Valley League season kicks off. The Miners host Fairfield at Hooper Stadium next Friday. They open league play at home against Placer Oct. 4
“We still can improve,” said Horne. “We’re not the best yet. We’re not Mater Dei, or any of them, but we’ll get there. We still have a long way to go.”
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
SCORE BY QUARTER
MINERS 63, RAIDERS 6
NU: Jaxon Horne 52-yard run (Moises Tovar kick) 10:04
NU: Horne 4-yard run (Tovar kick) 5:36
NU: Drake Schlachter 43-yard pass from J.T. Conway (Tovar kick) 2:31
NU: Matt Dal Bon 18-yard pass from Conway (Tovar kick) 11:52
NU: Horne 1-yard run (Tovar kick) 10:03
RC: Amari Duncan 71-yard run (PAT no good) 6:57
NU: Horne 1-yard run (Tovar kick) 1:05
NU: Horne 6-yard run (Tovar kick) 8:15
NU: Gabe Baker 15-yard run (Tovar kick) 6:51
NU: Ben Taylor 19-yard run (Tovar kick) 3:17
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