Awesome Miners victory
Florin’s football team huffed and puffed as it entered Hooper Stadium for its Sac-Joaquin Section Division I Tournament quarterfinal showdown with Nevada Union Friday.
The Delta League runner-up Panthers (10-2) from Sacramento must have thought all of their chest-thumpin’ and evil glares might give them the edge they needed to knock off the undefeated Miners.
They should have gone with Plan B.
The Miners scored touchdowns on seven on their first nine possessions in a 65-21 rout.
“Our goal is to win the section championship. They’re a tough team, but they were in our way,” sad Miner senior linebacker Mike Manzinali, who tallied a team high 12 tackles. “Nevada Union hasn’t been to the section championships in a while, and I think its ’bout time we got back.”
The Metro Conference champion Miners (12-0) earned a place in the city championship, to be played at Hughes Stadium at Sacramento City College at 7:30 p.m. next Friday. They will face the winner of today’s matchup between Delta League champ Jesuit (Carmichael) and Metro No. 3 Woodland.
“Our kids have set some pretty high goals, and winning the city championship is one of them,” said NU head coach Dave Humphers.
NU set up on their own 47-yard line on their opening possession thanks top a 37-yard kickoff return from senior Vu Pham.
The hosts moved 15 yards closer to paydirt when Florin was pinged for a unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty on first down.
The Panther defense tackled halfback Joey Bratton for a 3-yard loss on the next play, then the hosts lost five more yards when they were called for delay of game.
NU quarterback Jon Sheets then gave the home crowd a reason to cheer.
On second down and 18 at the Panther 45-yard-line, the senior found a wide-open Joe Dolan for a touchdown down the middle of the field to draw first blood.
“I think our offense had another great night. Jon Sheets always finds a way to make things happen,” Humphers added.
Sheets finished with 138 yards on six-of-10 passing with no interceptions.
The Herrera brothers, Ryan and Rich, combined with Pham and Chris Thibodeau to run the Panther defense into the ground.
Ryan, who upped his season touchdown total to eight with a pair short range scores, finished with 70 yards on eight carries.
Ryan Herrera was right behind with 62 yards on five carries with a score.
Thibodeau tallied a team-high 92 yards on nine carries with two touchdowns. Pham had two touchdowns, and Dan King also scored on the ground.
“Our backs ran hard, and our line blocked hard. I don’t think our line gets the recognition they deserve,” Manzinali said.
Eric Harvey and Steve Kenny each finished with nine tackles in the win. Kenny and Chad Bomar each recovered a fumble. Kris Sulonen had a sack.
Florin 7 6 8 0 – 21
Nevada Union 17 27 14 7-65
NU – Joe Dolan 45 pass from Jon Sheets (Kyle McTighe kick), 11:07.
NU – McTighe 43 FG 5:29.
NU – Ryan Herrera 1 run (McTighe kick), 2:26.
F – Marcus Bishop 59 run (Carlos Saucedo kick), 2:02.
NU – Herrera 1 run (McTighe kick), 11:56.
NU – Chris Thibodeau 6 run (McTighe kick), 5:12.
F – Curlee Bishop 99 yard kickoff return (run failed), 5:01.
NU – Vu Pham 3 run (McTighe kick), 3:25.
NU – Thibodeau 3 run (kick failed), 1:21.
NU – Rich Hererra 33 run (McTighe kick), 9:13.
F – Bishop 9 run (pass good), 4:11.
NU – Pham 58 run (McTighe kick), 3:31.
NU – Dan King 3 run (McTighe kick), 11:20.
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With a balanced offensive attack and a strong defensive effort, the Nevada Union football team went on the road Friday night and knocked off Napa, 33-14