NU meets Hiram Johnson in league opener |

NU meets Hiram Johnson in league opener

Dan BurkhartNevada Union's Chris Thibodeau has proven to be a threat both as a kick returner and a tailback this season.
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New conference. New opponent. Nevada Union football coach Dave Humphers and his Miners would be happy for the results of tonight’s game to be the same old, same old pleasant conclusions they have experienced for the past four games.

Nevada Union’s new football alignment that finds them in the Metro Conference kicks off tonight when the Miners host Hiram Johnson. Junior Varsity contest will start at 5:30 p.m., with the varsity game to follow around 7:30 p.m.

Expect the scoring to be plentiful on the home side of the field. With Johnson off to an 0-4 start that has seen them be outscored 20-158, the game should provide a pleasant way for the unbeaten Miners to open the door to a league full of fresh faces, and different approaches to the game.

“I hate to sound like a broken record, but the same things that decided our success in the first four games will come into play again (tonight),” NU coach Dave Humphers said. “Defensively, we’ll need to be sharp with our tackling, and take good angles on ball carriers. Offensively, we need to minimize the way we hurt ourselves. We’ve set a goal of 15 penalty yards or less for this game.”

NU enters the game with weapons aplenty, including the conference’s top passer in Jon Sheets and a lethal kick return team with Vu Pham and Chris Thibodeau as the deep backs that is averaging close to 30 yards a return.

NU’s offense is averaging nearly 40 points a game, bad news for an opponent that gave up 55 points to Grant last week.

“Coach Joe (Montoya) and John Miller have really done a great job, week in and week out, in preparing the offense for games,” Humphers said.

While NU is liable to have any of a half-dozen offensive candidates shine on a given day, Johnson counters with one true threat, 5-foot-9, 175-pound senior Marvin Pulley, who has rushed for 292 yards this season.

“Pulley is a gifted I-back, the real deal,” Humphers said. “He is fast and has good footwork, so it will be our defense’s job to stop him.”

Whether Pulley is able to play the game of his life to keep Johnson in pace with NU’s offense or not, Humphers believes Johnson is a suitable entry into Metro Conference play for the Miners.

“It is a good way to get things started in the league,” Humphers said. “We are ready to get this going.”

The showdown – Nevada Union is to host Metro Conference opponent Hiram Johnson tonight. The junior varsity game is at 5:30 p.m., with the varsity game to follow roughly two hours later.

So far – NU (4-0) enters the game ranked second behind Grant in the Sacramento area, ?? In the state, while Johnson searches for its first win in five games.

Key matchup – NU would be hard-pressed to lose this game if they contain Johnson tailback Marvin Pulley.

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