PREP FOOTBALL: Miners look to rebound in home opener against Spanish Springs |

PREP FOOTBALL: Miners look to rebound in home opener against Spanish Springs

Nevada Union's Dereck Lopez (2) runs the ball up the sideline during a play against the Yuba City Honkers.
Elias Funez/


What: Nevada Union (0-1) vs. Spanish Springs (0-1)

When: 7:15 p.m., today

Where: Hooper Stadium, Nevada Union High School

Follow along: on Twitter @WalterLeeFordIII or online at

After a rough outing on the road in their season opener, the Miners are set to dig in on their home turf for the first time this season.

“I’m just focused,” said head coach Brad Sparks. “Myself and my staff just want to win. We’re coaching our butts off to get a win… I told the kids ‘when I know I’m prepared, I don’t get nervous or get butterflies, because I’m prepared.’ However, I’m excited to see the kids perform in their home stadium Friday night.”

Nevada Union welcomes Spanish Springs (Sparks, Nevada) to Hooper Stadium tonight for a 7:15 p.m. kickoff.

Both teams come into the contest on the heels of week one losses in which both offenses struggled to score. Spanish Springs lost to California High School (San Ramon), 24-7. The Miners fell 39-0 to Yuba City. Now each team will look to put a notch in the win column and avoid an 0-2 hole to start the season.

“They got a great program,” Sparks said of Spanish Springs. “They go really hard. They are very similar to Folsom. They are going to do a lot of throwing the ball and running all over the place. They are a big school on top of it. We’re kind of preparing for them the way we’ve prepared for Folsom in the past.”

The Cougars, who run their offense out of the shotgun, threw the ball 26 times last week for 160 yards and ran it 25 times for 125 yards, but struggled to score, notching just one third quarter touchdown.

“They got a great kid at quarterback and they’re fairly decent up front,” said Sparks.

Looking to halt the Cougars’ offensive attack will be a Miners team that gave up more than 400 yards and 39 points to Yuba City a week ago.

“What happened last week was guys got frustrated and started doing their own thing pretty early,” Sparks said. “We played really physical, played fairly well for about 2 ½ quarters, then got frustrated and started doing our own thing and it went to heck from there.

“When things get bad we need to teach them to focus and not do their own thing, and do what we have coached them to do. That’s what gets you back in a ball game.”

The Miners will also look to get their offense going after being shutout. Senior Dawson Fay was responsible for most of Nevada Union offense last week, rushing for 48 yards and passing for 58 yards.

“Dawson did almost all of it out of the shotgun and that’s something he had just got his feet wet with,” said Sparks, who is installing his own version of the Wing-T offense.

“Parker (Heilaman) will still get his shots, but what Dawson gives us is that run-pass threat.”


Nevada Union has struggled at home the past five seasons, going 2-24 at Hooper Stadium since 2013. The Miners did win their home opener a season ago, topping Placer 43-16.


All three levels of Miners football will host their home openers today. The freshmen Miners kick off at 3:30 p.m. The junior varsity Miners are scheduled to kick off at 5 p.m. And, the varsity game is set to start at 7:15 p.m. tonight.

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.