Around the hills |

Around the hills

Nevada Union's quarterback Justus Spillnerlets one go against Rocklin Friday.
John Hart/ | The Union

Another week of prep football is in the books and with it another loss for the boys in blue and gold.

The Nevada Union football team endured another lopsided loss Friday, this time at the hands of Sierra Foothill League foe Rocklin.

The Thunder handled the Miners from the start, forcing a punt, then returning that punt for a touchdown. After that, the Thunder rolled to 48-0 halftime score and eventually a 55-7 victory over the Miners, who had two years prior knocked Rocklin off on their home turf in overtime.

In Friday’s loss, NU mounted just 131 yards of total offense, 91 coming on the ground and 40 through the air.

The Miners (0-6, 0-1 SFL) have settled in for this long season, resolving to continue to work hard and put those who want it most on the field, said Houlihan.

“The guys understand where we are and understand that the season can be like this every game and OK,” Houlihan said. “But they’re still going to play. They’re still excited. They’re still kids. As a staff, it’s frustrating, and as a team, it’s frustrating, but they have to go out and perform. Bottom line.”

And to the Miners’ credit, they are still suiting up, putting their bodies on the line for the game they love, the school they represent and the NU faithful.

It can’t be easy for these young players, having every game be a blowout, losing to longtime rivals by incredible margins and all the while being fully aware of Nevada Union’s winning history.

The Miners have been outscored 281-50 in six contests, both are last in the SFL, but they continue to pull themselves up from the turf, line up for the next play and dig in.

NU’s sophomore quarterback Justus Spillner showed signs of improvement in the second half against Rocklin. After being sacked five times in the first half, Spillner connected on a pretty 24-yard pass to Travis Owens, then on fourth-and-goal from the 7, hit sophomore Drew Daniels on a curl route for the score. It was Spillner’s first touchdown pass since week one against McQueen. The score was Daniels’ first of the season. Spillner is now 19-of-46 for 282 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions this season in staggered time under center. Since joining the varsity squad in week three, Daniels has eight catches for 100 yards and one touchdown.

Against Rocklin, the Miners welcomed back Mo Nieves and Chandler Heppe. Nieves, back for his first game since a Week 1 knee injury, led NU on the ground with 39 yards on 17 carries. Heppe, also back for the first time since a Week 1 injury, was 1-for-1 on extra-point attempts.

The Miners will look to get their first win of the season Friday when they travel to Woodcreek (2-4, 0-1 SFL) for a battle in the SFL basement.

Granite Bay 40, Roseville 28

The Grizzlies trailed 14-13 to the Tigers at half but tallied 27 in the second half to run away with the SFL victory.

Granite Bay had two rushers top 100 with junior Ben Smith eating up 120 yards and two touchdowns and senior Michael Geraghty running for 103 and two scores.

Senior Josh Neal threw for 183 yards and no interceptions for the Grizzlies in the win.

Granite Bay (5-1, 1-0 SFL) will look to keep its five-game win streak alive Friday when it hosts Rocklin (4-2, 1-0 SFL). Roseville (3-3, 0-1 SFL) travels to take on Del Oro (4-2, 1-0 SFL).

Del Oro 42, Woodcreek 6

The Golden Eagles put up 35 points in the second quarter to put the game away early, beating the Timberwolves handily in the teams’ SFL opener Friday at Woodcreek.

Del Oro’s Dylan Kainrath scored four times and tallied 169 yards on 21 carries as the Eagles cruised past Woodcreek.

Michael Moore was efficient from the pocket, going 6-of-8 for 149 yards and two touchdowns, one for 50 yards to Trey Udoffia and a 54-yarder to Tyler Meteer.

On the defensive side, Del Oro sacked Woodcreek six times, grabbed two interceptions and held the Timberwolves to just six points.

Del Oro gets Roseville next week and Woodcreek (2-4, 0-1 SFL) hosts Nevada Union (0-6, 0-1 SFL).

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email

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