NU loses second league game of season
The yell from Chad Mason’s mouth was furious as he picked himself up from a game-ending sack.
Elk Grove had just beaten Nevada Union 30-15 for the second-straight Miners loss at Hooper Stadium. The Thundering Herd ended a four-game losing streak to NU.
“We knew what we had to do and we took care of business,” Elk Grove senior running back Nick Nugent said.
Nugent ran for four touchdowns, including carries of 51 and 24 yards. He finished with a game-high 144 yards on 21 carries as the Herd improved to 2-1 in the Delta Valley Conference (6-1 overall). NU dropped to 1-2 in the DVC and 5-3 overall.
The Miners were the first to strike, though, when Jesse Ettlin scored Nevada Union’s only touchdown early in the first quarter on a 4-yard run. The score was set up by Matt Anderson’s 51-yard punt return to the 11 yard line.
On the Herd’s second possession after falling behind, Nugent took a handoff up the middle, but appeared to be stuck as he was lost among a cluster of linemen from both teams. Two seconds later, however, he reappeared on the other side of the line and ran 51 yards to the end zone.
Nugent struck again from 3 yards out, before Kyle Bielen kicked a pair of field goals to bring the Miners within a point at 14-13.
Nevada Union took its first lead of the game on a safety midway through the third quarter, when Elk Grove punter Joshua McMahon pushed the ball out of the back of the end zone after a high snap, preventing the Miners from recovering it for a touchdown.
Nugent started the fourth quarter with a 1-yard touchdown run, and scored on a 24-yard run with 1 minute, 18 seconds left to put the game out of reach.
NU still had hope when it began a drive trailing 23-15 with 2:37 left, but that quickly ended.
Anderson took his only snap of the game from the shotgun, and his short pass was intercepted by Elk Grove’s Justin Meehan at the Miners’ 37-yard line.
“We were the only ones stopping ourselves,” Ettlin said. Nevada Union was penalized 13 times in the game.
Both teams relied heavily on their running games. NU finished with 198 yards rushing compared to 84 yards through the air, while Elk Grove totaled 224 yards on the ground and 95 passing.
Mason completed 10-of-19 passes for 84 yards, and Elk Grove’s quarterback, Kevin Frank, was 7-of-13 for 95 yards. Mason and Frank were each intercepted once.
“The loss tonight is disappointing for all of us,” Nevada Union coach Dave Humphers said. “We decided early in the season that, no matter what happened, we would stay together.
“We made some mistakes. No excuses.”
The Miners head to Davis on Friday for the second-to-last game of regular season.
Elk Grove, meanwhile, hosts Valley next.
“This would have almost clinched a playoff berth,” Humphers said. “But in losing, we may need a little help.”
Humphers did praise the running of Dave Zealear, who gained a team-high 117 yards. Humphers was also pleased with the play of the defense.
“They’re a great group of kids,” Humphers said. “The loss is disappointing, but I know these guys, and I know they’ll work even harder next week.”
JV: Elk Grove 23, Nevada Union 20
Cameron Ryan scored all of the Miners’ touchdowns in the loss.
Ryan scored two rushing touchdowns and caught another from quarterback John Wivholm.
Wivholm finished 4-of-9 for 122 yards, and Joey Lemay ran for 83 yards on 10 carries.
Jared Ralph led NU’s defense with 11 tackles, Ty Detinger had nine, and Justin Noxon totaled six.
Bobby Newkirk also played well at defensive tackle, where he had four tackles.
It was the first conference loss for Nevada Union (4-4 overall, 2-1 Delta Valley Conference).
To contact Sports Writer Jeff Miller, e-mail email@example.com or call 477-4247.
Thundering Herd 30, Nevada Union 15
Elk Grove (7-1) 7 7 0 16 – 30
Nevada Union (5-3) 7 3 5 0 – 15
NU – Jesse Ettlin 4 run, Kyle Bielen kick (9:11).
EG – Nick Nugent 51 run, Stefano Baez kick (4:32).
EG – Nick Nugent 3 run, Stefano Baez kick (6:11).
NU – Kyle Bielen 28 field goal (2:05).
NU – Kyle Bielen 25 field goal (7:23).
NU – Safety (punter pushed bad snap out back of end zone). (5:56)
EG – Nick Nugent 1 run, conversion failed (10:40).
EG – Stefano Baez 20 field goal (2:37).
EG – Nick Nugent 24 run, Stefano Baez kick (1:18).
First downs 11 13
Total Net Yards 319 282
Rushes-yards 48-224 46-198
Passing 95 84
Comp-Att-Int 7-16-1 10-20-2
Fumbles-Lost 3-0 1-1
Penalties-Yards 5-40 13-85
RUSHING – Elk Grove, Nick Nugent 21-144 and 4 TDs, Kevin Frank 10-31, Jordan Glass 5-20, Joel Hull 1-14, Brannon Brooks 8-11, Lincoln Togiai 3-4. Nevada Union, Dave Zealear 20-117, Jesse Ettlin 10-45 and 1 TD, Andrew Metroka 6-29, Chad Mason 10-7.
PASSING – Elk Grove, Kevin Frank 7-13-1 for 95 yards, Johnelle Corbin 0-3-0. Nevada Union, Chad Mason 10-19-1 for 84 yards, Matt Anderson 0-1-1.
RECEIVING – Elk Grove, Ryan Pearson 3-79, Jordan Glass 2-2, Justin Meehan 1-12, Brannon Brooks 1-2. Nevada Union, Wes Plummer 3-30, Doug Dolan 3-13, Colin Casey 2-33, Matt Anderson 1-7, Jesse Ettlin 1-1.
MISSED FIELD GOALS – none.
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EL DORADO — Nevada Union’s up and down season continued Friday night as the Miners struggled mightily in a 41-7 loss to the Union Mine Diamondbacks.