Miners pitch shutout on homecoming night
Nevada Union’s football team looked like it was already at the Homecoming dance for most of the first half, Friday night – two steps forward, one step back.
The Miners had more yards on penalties than Natomas had in total offense through the first 24 minutes of action.
The final score was 34-0, but the Miners left plenty of plays on the field due to penalties, which have been a problem for the Miners.
“This is a huge area where we need to work,” NU coach Dave Humphers said. “Players have been frustrated on the field. It is not just one type of penalty.”
Nevada Union quarterback Broughan Jantz put on an efficiency clinic, throwing the ball 17 times, finding his target on 14 of those attempts for 190 yards, including touchdown passes to Drew Hoskin and Dan Pettinato.
“Jantz is an intelligent player who works very hard, we need to give the offensive line and receivers credit for his success”, Humphers said.
NU’s defense held the Nighthawks offense in check all night. The Miners forced a fumble, intercepted a pass and stopped Natomas on three fourth-down attempts.
“Chad Knight, Juan Espinosa and Chris Biertuempfel have been playing very consistent” Nevada Union defensive coach Brad Dal Bon said. “We were able to get four, three-and-outs.”
The Miners scored on their first two drives and did not score again until the third quarter.
The game’s leading rusher Jason Slade carried the ball 10 times for 99 years, while Zach Vallejo scored his touchdown by punishing two defenders at the goal line.
“I love running over kids,” Vallejo said.
Nevada Union (3-1) travels to Franklin of Stockton next Friday night.
JV: Nevada Union 46, Natomas 7
Nevada Union’s junior varsity also didn’t have much trouble taking care of business against the Nighthawks, taking a 34-0 lead at halftime en route to the blowout victory.
“The defense played tough,” said NU coach Mitch Giles, pointing out progress he saw in the team’s fundamentals over last week’s performance in a loss at Roseville.
NU (2-2) totaled 418 yards of offense.
Quarterback Josiah Paye had touchdown runs of 34 yards and 44 yards in the opening quarter, before added a 41-yard touchdown pass to Conner Fuller in the second quarter.
Bradley Spangler added touchdown runs of 26 and 53 yards, while Conner Keith scored from 20 yards out before the halftime break. Kyler Malarae intercepted a pass and returned it seven yards for a score.
Malarae and Dyllin Reynolds each had nine tackles on the night, while Keith had eight stops and Gabe Humphers totaled seven tackles.
Scott P. Hopper is a sports writer for The Union. Contact him via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 477-4231.
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