NU suffers tough road loss to Del Oro |

NU suffers tough road loss to Del Oro

Nevada Union's Jason Murray runs the ball Friday night against Del Oro. The Miners lost 45-35.
John Hart | The Union

Score by quarter

Team 1 2 3 4 F

Nevada Union 3 12 14 6 35

Del Oro 21 21 0 3 45

First quarter

NU: Braaten Sill 20-yard field goal 7:20

DO: Brandon Monroe 46-yard run (Skyler Rand kick) 5:54

DO: Monroe 40-yard pass from Zach Labar (Rand kick) 3:34

DO: Monroe 4-yard run (Rand kick) :11

Second quarter

DO: Danny Becker 56-yard pass from Michael Moore (Rand kick) 9:28

NU: Ian Davis 15-yard pass from Kyle Cota (XP failed) 7:30

DO: Monroe 50-yard pass from Labar (Rand kick) 5:33

NU: Jake Berger 10-yard pass from Cota (kick blocked) 1:41

DO: Tyler Meeter 7-yard pass from Labar (Rand kick) :23

Third quarter

NU: Tanner Vallejo 31-yard run (Sill kick) 7:26

NU: Cota 1-yard run (Sill kick) :09

Fourth quarter

DO: Rand 30-yard field goal 5:39

NU: Gareth Noxon 26-yard pass from Cota (2-pt no good) :59

There is no quit in the Nevada Union football team — no matter how deep a hole it digs.

Despite the Miners being down by a double-digit margin, most of the game they kept chipping away at Del Oro.

Ultimatley though, the hole the Miners (5-4, 2-2 Sierra Foothill League) had dug themselves was too deep to climb out of as they fell to the Golden Eagles (4-5, 3-1 SFL), 45-25.

“We came out and tried too hard and made a ton of mistakes,” NU head coach Dave Humphers said. “Then we relaxed in and started playing well and played a great second half. I am really proud of our guys. They really battled. However, the game goes on the scoreboard, in football if you have guys who never give up and fight like crazy, then you have to be proud of them. A lot of other teams would have folded.”

The game was a story of two halves. In the first, Del Oro could do no wrong. The Golden Eagles scored on all six of their possessions, including four touchdowns coming from there star senior running back Brandon Monroe.

The bruising running back with deceptive speed put the Golden Eagles on the board with a 46-yard touchdown run where he broke a couple tackles, then cut back against the grain beating the over-pursuing NU defense for the score.

Monroe added three more scores in the first half where he broke tackles, shook defenders and simply out-played the NU defense.

Monroe was a beast in the first half, running the ball 13 times for 114 yards and two touchdowns as well as catching three balls for 120 yards and another two touchdowns.

For the game, Monroe finished with 307 total yards, 187 of which came on the ground.

“He’s a great player, and you can see why San Jose State wanted him,” said Humphers. “But we defended him well in the second half.”

Del Oro quarterback Zach Labar was also impressive going 10-for-10 in the first half, throwing for 239 yards and three touchdowns. For the season, the Golden Eagles had averaged 108 yards passing per game.

In the first half, the Miner run game was dismal. NU amassed a mere 18 yards rushing through the first two quarters. Leading the Miners on the ground was Tanner Vallejo. The senior captain ran the ball 11 times for 57 yards, including a 31-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.

With the run game stalling, the Miners turned to Kyle Cota for some punch. The senior quarterback had his best statistical game of the season, throwing the ball 48 times and completing 27 of those for 448 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. Cota also added a rushing touchdown as well.

Cota was able to throw a pair of touchdowns before the half, one to Ian Davis and one to Jake Berger, to send the Miners into halftime trailing 42-15.

In the second half, it was the Miners who got things rolling and the Golden Eagles who began to falter.

Vallejo and Cota both scored rushing touchdowns, and the NU defense stiffened as the Miners closed the gap to 42-29.

In the fourth, Del Oro added a field goal to push the edge to 16 points.

With the clock ticking to under a minute, the Miners got some life when Cota found Gareth Noxon for a 26-yard score to bring the Miners to within 10.

On the two-point conversion, Cota tried to find Davis over the middle but threw wide, keeping the margin at 10.

The Miners, refusing to go quietly, tried an onside kick and recovered it. But with the Del Oro defense playing the deep pass, NU was unable to get another score.

On the night, two different Miners went past the century mark for receiving yards with Davis netting 126 yards on nine receptions and Austin Marks eating up 107 yards on seven receptions. Davis is now beyond the 1,000-yard mark for the season (1,104).

Mistakes really hurt the Miners Friday night with 14 penalties, two missed extra points and a failed fake punt that gave Del Oro the ball inside the NU redzone. Nine of the Miners 14 penalties came in the first half.

Defensively for the Miners, Vallejo led the way with 12 tackles. Vallejo now has more than 100 tackles for the third straight season at the varsity level. Hank Humphers had three tackles for losses, and Cameron Townsend pulled down five tackles.

NU will now need to regroup before taking on Granite Bay, which is yet to be bested in SFL play this season.

JV: Nevada Union 49,

Del Oro 34

Behind Monserate Nieves’ 270 rushing yards and four touchdowns, the Miners were able to top the Golden Eagles by 15.

Travis Owens added 186 yards and two touchdowns, and NU was able to win its fourth game of the season.

Nieves also led the defense with 10 tackles and two sacks. Josh Belendez had 14 tackles for NU and added a fumble recovery. Arata Enzo also had a sack in the victory.

The Miners are 4-5 this season with the season finale Friday against Granite Bay.

To contact Sports Writer Walter Ford, email or call (530) 477-4232.

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