On point – Nevada Union looks to keep dominance of McClatchy alive | TheUnion.com
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On point – Nevada Union looks to keep dominance of McClatchy alive

If the best predictor of future events is past events, expect plenty of points to be scored in Nevada Union’s Metro Conference opener with McClatchy (Sacramento) at Hooper Stadium Friday.

The bad news for Lions’ coaches, players and fans alike is that it’s more likely than not the Miners will be the ones doing the scoring.

In the teams’ two most recent meetings, the Miners have put 140 points on the board to the Lions’ 0.



No, that’s not a misprint.

McClatchy, which has won just one game out of its last 23, fell 71-0 in their last trip to Hooper Stadium in 2002, then 69-0 last year.




“Our mission is to focus on ourselves. We’ve still got plenty of areas to improve on,” NU (2-1 overall) head coach Dave Humphers said. “Defensively, we’ve got to tackle better, pursue the ball better and read our keys 100 percent of the time. And offensively, we need to improve our inside running game.”

Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Offense

The Lions (0-3), whose pro-set, West Coast offense has accounted for a less-than-impressive 28 points in its first three games, have improved, at least in the stat book, since the start of the season.

In its first two games of the season – a 44-15 loss to Sacramento followed by a 63-7 loss to Franklin (Elk Grove) – McClatchy totaled 254 yards of total offense.

Contrast that to last week’s 248 yards of total offense in a 55-6 loss to Christian Brothers (Sacramento), and the Lions look to be headed in the right direction.

“They moved the ball well last week,” Humphers said. “Although the score wasn’t close – Christian Brothers scored a several late (touchdowns in an attempt) to run up the score – McClatchy was very competitive with them.”

The young Miner defense – Humphers started nine juniors in last week’s 56-12 dismantling of old foe Elk Grove – will look to pitch another shutout, but will have to deal with the Lions squad which has shown the ability to pull off the big play.

Senior wide receiver Justin Edwards (5-11, 175) has just five catches, but has a 65-yarder to his credit including a pair of scores.

He leads the team in receiving yardage with 118.

Actor Keeonla (6-1, 185), a senior running back, is a threat on both the ground and through the air.

He’s rushed 33 times for 80 yards and hauled in four catches for 50 yards, including a 27-yarder, to lead the team in total offense with 130 yards.

He’ll team with sophomore fullback Marvin Johnson (5-9. 215) and junior running back Dominic Latino (5-9, 165) – who have 137 yards on 22 carries and a touchdown between them – to test the Miners’ defense.

Under center, the Lions have a pair of players to choose from.

Junior Aaron Jauregui (6-0, 175) has been proven to be the Lions’ most efficient and productive passer by far this year with 188 yards on 10-of-23 passing. He’s thrown for a pair scores and has had two picked off.

Jauregui’s counterpart, junior Tyler Ball (5-10, 160), has gone 12-for-37 for 102 yards to go along with a pair of picks.

Defense

Stopping the run hasn’t come easy for the Lions so far this season.

Sacramento rambled for 212 yards in 19 carries in the opener. Franklin topped that with 276 yards on 32 totes a week later.

Then Christian Brothers finished them off with 247 yards on 31 carries seven days ago.

That’s anything but good news as The Lions face a team which is second in the Metro Conference in rushing with 222 yards a game.

Leading the charge for McClatchy will be safety Edwards.

He’s tied with fellow safety Andrew Yuen (5-7, 160) atop on the defensive stat sheet with 21 tackles each.

Keoonla is close behind with 18 stops.


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