Miners vs. Marauders
s the two of the biggest kids on the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I block this football season, Nevada Union and Jesuit (Carmichael) were bound to rumble.
The Miners (12-0) bulldozed through their pre-, then regular-season schedule to take the Metro Conference crown.
Jesuit (11-0) survived a scare early, but put it all together down the stretch to grab the Delta League title.
With first- and second-round playoff wins under their belts, the teams will go toe-to-toe in the Sacramento City Championship Game at Hughes Stadium on the campus of Sacramento City College 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The winner earns a ticket to the section title game against the winner of the south semifinal – Turlock vs. Lincoln (Stockton) – at the University of the Pacific (Stockton) 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13.
This will be the fourth time NU and Jesuit have met in the playoffs since 1993.
NU came out on top in their first meeting with a 31-12 win in that season’s city championship game. The Miners then went on to win the first of their back-to-back section titles the next week with a 34-13 win over Merced.
The next meeting came six seasons later.
Jesuit evened the series with a 49-28 second-round decision in 1999.
NU got some measure of revenge two seasons later thanks to a 42-20 first round win.
“To me, it’s really not about what happened in past years, it’s about right now,” NU head coach Dave Humphers said. “We’re just focusing on this game Our kids are really excited and happy about just being able to keep playing.”
The Marauders have any number of weapons to choose from.
Humphers said probably the most dangerous is quarterback C.J. Bacher.
The 6-foot, 2-inch, junior has thrown for 1,807 yards on 129-of-198 passing with 11 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
He’s fourth on the team in rushing with 202 yards on 39 carries with three scores.
“He’s an outstanding passer as well as runner,” Humphers said. “He’s very, very accurate. He can stand and throw in the pocket, and he can sprint out. If it’s not there, he’s (not shy) about scrambling (for the first down).”
When Jesuit runs, Chris Buck has been its first option.
The 5-foot, 11-inch, 200 pound running back has totaled 947 yards on 128 carries with 18 touchdowns.
Jesuit will also look to Mike Frazer (5-9, 175), who’s tallied 459 yards on 74 carries with four touchdowns, and the 6-foot, 190 pound Armond Jackson (40 carries for 323 yards and three scores) to contribute to the ground game.
“Buck’s probably their best runner, but they’ve got three other guys who get carries who have pretty much the same style: average speed, but run really hard,” Humphers said. “Buck breaks a long one and you think he’s not that fast, then nobody catches him.
“It looks to me like they’ve got a bunch of guys who are overachieving. We’re really gong too have to focus on stopping their running game.”
Humphers said the the Marauders just as tough on the other side of the ball.
“They’re really big and they tackle well. It’s really been hard (for teams) to move them around (this season),” he said.
Junior linebacker Steven Lewis (6-0, 180) leads the team in tackles with 105. Dallas Williams (6-1, 180), who’s tallied a team-high eight sacks this year from the defensive lineman, is second in tackles with 97.
“You watch their defense and you can see why they’re undefeated. They do everything extremely well,” Humphers said.
One thing Jesuit’s defense has shown a knack for is causing turnovers.
The Marauders have totaled 24 fumble recoveries and 13 interceptions on the season.
Louie Stanfill (6-4, 240), a senior linebacker, leads the team in both interceptions (3) and fumble recoveries (12).
“He’s been their gamebreaker all year,” Humphers added.
THE KEY TO THE WIN
It’s simple, according to Humphers.
“It’s all going to boil down to which team wants it more,” he said.
Battle of unbeatens
Jesuit Marauders (11-0) vs. Nevada Union Miners (12-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday
(Sac City College)
Nevada Union (12-0)
9/13 @Merced W 38-28
9/20 Vintage W 45-19
9/27 Elk Grove W 35-9
10/5 @Del Campo W 39-27
10/11 Johnson* W 52-14
10/18 McClatchy* W 71-0
10/26 @Kennedy* W 49-14
11/1 Woodland* W 23-17
11/8 @Yuba City* W 34-0
11/15 @Grant* W 43-40
11/22 Laguna Creek W 42-7
11/29 Florin W 65-21
9/13 @St. Mary1s W 9-0
9/20 @Brothers W 28-10
9/28 Marin Catholic W 45-0
10/4 @Laguna Creek* W 21-20
10/12 Folsom* W 17-0
10/25 @Valley* W 41-24
11/2 Sheldon* W 43-13
11/9 Florin* W 31-14
11/16 @Elk Grove* W 27-20
11/23 Grant W 35-34
11/30 Woodland W 55-30
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