Elk Grove throttles Nevada Union, 43-0
The Thundering Herd rumbled into Hooper Stadium Friday and soured an otherwise celebratory evening by creaming Nevada Union, 43-0, on homecoming night.
“Bigger, faster, stronger kids,” NU defensive coordinator Brad Dal Bon said of Elk Grove. “It’s tough when they got big horses to bring down.”
The Herd (5-0) didn’t wait long to get things going, taking their first snap 65-yards for a touchdown.
Elk Grove running back, Spencer Sheff, who started in place of an injured Wadus Parker, went almost untouched through the NU defense for the 7-0 first quarter lead. Sheff led the Herd rushing attack with 136 yards on nine carries, three of which went for touchdowns.
Elk Grove shoved their version of the wing-T down NU’s throat all game as they tallied 322 yards and five touchdowns on the ground, coming on 36 carries.
Two possessions later Elk Grove’s Elijah Jones took a misdirection play 66 yards for the score, putting Elk Grove up 14-0. Jones finished with 104 yards rushing on just five carries.
The Miners were able to slow the Herd at times, recovering three fumbles in the first half, but slow was all they could do.
Recovering fumbles for NU was Brandon Lopez, Gareth Noxon and Stephen DeMoss.
“I thought, believe it or not, but we were more physical tonight,” Dal Bon said.
“We created a few turnovers. It’s one of those things where you look at film and you look at how the kids played and I believe, this is going to sound crazy, but we actually got better tonight.”
The Miners’ offense was atrocious against a very physical and talented Elk Grove defense. NU tallied just 53 rushing yards and five passing for a game total of 58 offensive yards. The Shutout was Elk Grove’s third of the season.
The Miners featured a pair of backs that fans haven’t seen this season as Dylan Pfadt toted the ball a team-high 11 times for a team-high 35 yards. Junior varsity call up Edwin Dardon also saw some action, carrying the ball nine times for 20 yards.
“The game plan during the week was to bring in Dardon and get him a few touches,” Dal Bon said. “I knew we would have trouble throwing the ball and that proved to be a problem when we started to run the ball a lot and they could just pack it in.”
Trailing 21-0 with the second half winding down, Elk Grove struck once again, this time through the air. Herd quarterback Tommy Arnold connected with Jones over the middle, Jones absorbed a big hit, kept his balance and scampered the remaining 15-yards to complete the 40-yard touchdown play. Arnold was perfect on the night going 5-for-5 for 114 yards and one touchdown.
The Miners’ sophomore quarterback Justus Spillner didn’t fair as well, completing just 1-of-6 yards for five yards and an interception. Spillner was under immense pressure all night, getting sacked three times, including one for a safety.
Not helping the Miners were their self imposed errors as they jumped offsides eight times Friday night.
A bright spot for the Miners was a goal line stand in the fourth quarter when middle linebacker Josh Belendez smacked a Herd runner and drove him back on fourth-and-goal from the one-yard-line.
Belendez led the team in tackles with 11, Noxon added six and Jake Berger tallied nine.
The Miners end an incredibly tough preseason 0-5 as they head into their bye week.
JV: Elk Grove 40, Nevada Union 7
The Miners trailed 40-0 at half, but never gave up, notching the only score of the second half.
Brody McCoy barreled in from a yard out for the Miners lone touchdown.
Kashe McHugh led the defense with six tackles and fumble recovery that he took for 54 yards doen to the Elk Grove 12-yard line. Ryan Elkins wrapped up 12 tackles for NU, Caleb Patterson notched six tackles and Cain Lackey chipped in with five tackles in the loss.
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email email@example.com.
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