Jantz lifts Miners past Bruins, 15-14
SHINGLE SPRINGS” Nevada Union head coach Dave Humphers is already making gutsy calls in the season.
And it’s just Week 1.
With three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, the Miners down 13-12 after a late touchdown pass to keep the blue and gold in the game, Humphers called for a naked bootleg for quarterback Broughan Jantz.
It worked to a T.
Jantz skated into the end zone for a 2-point conversion, lifting the Miners over a heavily favored Ponderosa Bruins team, 15-14.
It was as much a win for the Miners’ program as well as the players’ psyche.
“I tell you, it was a great battle by both sides,” Humphers said. “Our youngsters have worked very hard. Really, really hard to get to this point.
“Obviously, the play of the night was the 2-point conversion,” Humphers continued. “Our quarterback, our junior quarterback, Broughan Jantz proved he’s a winner under pressure.”
Ponderosa proved to be a strong match, in fact being heavily favored by one newspaper as a blowout. It was enough to give the Miners inspiration, Humphers said.
“We were really ticked off with the story,” Humphers said to a reporter from the Sacramento Bee. “Come on over here,” he told the reporter, “I want you to meet my team.”
The Miners got themselves off to a quick start by pounding the ball up the middle with running back Juan Espinosa. Espinosa accounted for 57 of his 59 rushing yards in the first half, including the team’s first touchdown to cap a 3-play, 34-yard drive in the first quarter that only featured the big back.
But the Bruins took advantage of Nevada Union’s turnovers, capitalizing on a fumble on NU’s 4-yard line to tie the game up at 7 in the second quarter.
All the while, Ponderosa pounded the ball with their senior running back Lyndell Scarr, who finished with 30 carries for 148 yards and one touchdown. He had 19 carries in the second half alone.
The Miners stumbled through the second and third quarters, biting themselves in the foot with penalties and turnovers. Jantz accounted for two interceptions himself.
But he made up for it in a big way later on down the stretch.
Driving down the field in the fourth quarter, in what ended up being the team’s final drive of the night, Jantz completed a third-down pass to tight end Danny Pettinato to secure a first, then followed with a 34-yard scramble to pick up a first down on third and 14.
But his final act came when he collected himself in the pocket, with great protection, and delivered a strike to a wide-open Duncan Chapple for a 21-yard touchdown with 3:36 left in the game.
Humphers followed it up by calling the bold bootleg play, and NU secured the win 15-14.
The Miners were helped by a stout defense. Zach Vallejo picked up a big sack as Ponderosa threatened in the waning minutes and the defensive line was able to hold Scarr from busting loose to upset the upset.
Earlier in the game, defensive players Pettinato as well as Cole Stanford and Henry Harrison grabbed sacks on the Bruins quarterback.
It was enough for to make NU’s head coach rattle off a list of names of players he was proud of at the end of the game.
“I’m just really proud of them,” Humphers said.
JV: Nevada Union 13, Ponderosa 12
Robin Callas scored on a run up the middle and Jesse Cannon ran in a sweep for a touchdown followed by an extra point by Josh Cena to lead the Miners to a come-from-behind victory over Ponderosa.
The Miners stuffed Ponderosa on a fourth-and-3 from the 8-yard line to seal the victory.
“This was a great team effort,” NU head coach Mitch Giles said. “Our guys show they could get behind and get out of a bind.
“They bent for a half and snapped right back.”
Giles credits the great coaches on his staff and dedicated players to the win.
Nevada Union 7 0 0 8 ” 15
Ponderosa 0 7 7 0 ” 14
NU ” Juan Espinosa 2 run (Conor Maloney kick good), 6:36
P ” Lyndell Scarr 4 run (Shay Dalton kick good), 6:55
P ” Lyndell Scarr 33 pass from Casey Friederich (Shay Dalton kick good), 1:56
NU ” Duncan Chapple 21 pass from Broughan Jantz (Jantz run good), 3:36
Passing ” NU (Jantz 5-12, 68 yards, 1 touchdown, 2 interceptions); Ponderosa (Friederich 7-17, 93 yards, 1 touchdown).
Rushing” NU (Cameron Ryan 71, Jared Ralph 31, Jason Slade 3, Juan Espinosa 59, Drew Hoskin 20); Ponderosa (Scarr 148, Dalton -1).
Receiving ” NU (Chapple 2-37, Dan Pettinato 1-10, Ryan 1-15, Cole Stanford 1-3); Ponderosa (Matt Porrazzo 2-22, Blake Bengston 1-11, Scarr 2-41, T.J. Meleski 1-14, Dalton 1-5).
To contact Sports Writer Zuri Berry, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 477-4244.
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