Miners have talent returning | TheUnion.com

Miners have talent returning

Nevada Union's Mo Nieves slams down McQueen's quarterback Delon Buncio during a football game Friday at Hooper Stadium.
John Hart/jhart@theunion.com | The Union

Five games into the season, the Nevada Union football team is still searching for its first win, but with this Friday off and several players scheduled to return from either injury or academic probation, fans should expect a better on-the-field product in the near future.

The Miners will see some key faces that have been absent, for one reason or another, start to trickle back into the lineup when they return to action for Sierra Foothill League play.

Running back Mo Nieves will possibly be back from his week one knee injury, kicker and all around athlete Chandler Heppe will likely be back from his week one shoulder injury, and Jason Murray, Amani Senegal and T.J. Hart will all hopefully be back a couple weeks later to help shore up the defense and offensive line.

Senegal and Hart are both big bodied linemen who will surely help out in the trenches. Murray is another option out of the back field and provides pop from the linebacker position. Nieves will give some punch to run the game and Heppe will aid in special teams.

At 0-5, with four of those coming at Hooper Stadium, The Miners are still trying to find their identity and, in some cases, positional starters. That is something head coach Dennis Houlihan said would happen through the non-league season, but by the time the SFL started, he wanted to know where everything goes.

So far this season, the Miners started three different quarterbacks and have settled on sophomore Justus Spillner. Spillner has a good arm and a strong rapport with sophomore pass catcher Drew Daniels, who seems to have solidified the starting wide receiver spot, replacing Gareth Noxon, who has been moved to the backfield and is being used more on defense.

The running back carousal has been continuous through the first five games with four different backs, leading the team in carries from week to week, and eight different players that have carried the ball at least seven times.

Joe Voight leads the team in touchdowns with three, on just seven carries, and Noxon leads the team in yards with 208 on 26 carries. Neither ran the ball against Elk Grove as juniors Travis Owens and Dylan Pfadt carried the load, while sophomore Edwin Dardon got his first taste of varsity football with nine carries.

The Miners have had it tough through the first five weeks with injuries, academic problems and a schedule that would make most program heads cringe, but with league play comes new life. NU starts that new life Oct. 11 against Rocklin.

Around the Sierra Foothill League

Casa Roble 55, Roseville 35

The Tigers dropped their second game of the season Friday as Casa Roble racked up 55 points. The Rams did it both on the ground and through the air, amassing 489 yards of offense.

Casa Roble quarterback Peyton Wilfley hit on 19-of-22 passes for 284 yards and three touchdowns. Wilfley also had 70 yards rushing and three scores on the ground.

Roseville sits at 3-2 as they head into their bye week.

Granite Bay 39, Pittsburgh 35

The Grizzlies roared for more than 500 yards of offense and rallied in the fourth quarter to beat Pittsburgh.

Granite Bay got 313 yards passing and four touchdowns from senior quarterback Josh Neal to go along with 246 rush yards.

Tony Ellison added a pair of touchdowns for Granite Bay, one on the ground and another receiving.

Granite Bay is now 3-1 with Lincoln of Stockton up next.

Del Oro 38, Grant 35

In an overtime Thriller between two of the top teams in the Sac-Joaquin Section, the Golden Eagles edge past the Pacers.

Heading into overtime, Del Oro and Grant were knotted at 28. Both teams would punch in a touchdown.

Then in the second OT, Grant failed to score and Del Oro’s Mason Humes hit a 29-yarder to win it.

Del Oro quarterback Michael Moore hit for his fourth passing touchdown in overtime and finished with 223 yards passing.

Del Oro is now 2-2 with St. Mary’s of Stockton on their plate Friday.

Rocklin 19, Inkerdum 7

The Thunder turned a one- point half time deficit into a 12 point victory Friday, beating No. 13 Inkerdum on its home turf.

Sophomore Evyn Holtz was the Thunder’s work horse with 36 carries for 152 yards. Quarterback Logan Webb accounted for 131 passing yards and two touchdowns, one to Skyler Gonzalez and another to Andrew Castle.

Rocklin is now 3-2 with a bye before taking on NU in Rocklin.

Woodcreek (Bye)

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email wford@theunion.com.

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