Prep football: Miners rout Rio Linda in league opener (VIDEO); Bruins upset Marysville |

Prep football: Miners rout Rio Linda in league opener (VIDEO); Bruins upset Marysville

Nevada Union running back Cameron Cormack rushed for a game-high 200 yards and two touchdowns in the Miners’ 55-0 win over Rio Linda Friday.
Photo: Elias Funez

Nevada Union kicked off Foothill Valley League play in blowout fashion Friday night, routing the visiting Rio Linda Knights, 55-0.

“What we did last week against Napa really carried over to this week,” said Nevada Union head coach Brad Sparks. “We added another coach — Josh Van Matre — his history is fantastic up here, and he made an instant difference with our linebackers and our defense. Him and (defensive coordinator) Damon Turner are like a two-headed monster right now. They are doing a great job, and our defense is starting to figure it out.”

Playing in the friendly confines of Hooper Stadium, the Miners (4-2, 1-0 FVL) scored on their first eight possessions and held Rio Linda (1-4, 0-1 FVL) to less than 100 yards of total offense.

Getting the scoring started for NU was senior quarterback Gabe Baker, who found junior receiver Andrew Webster in the end zone for a 5-yard touchdown pass less than 4 minutes into the game.

Senior running back Cameron Cormack followed with a 35-yard touchdown run in which he made several defenders miss along the way to put NU up 14-0.

The Miners didn’t look back from there.

Nevada Union’s Brenner Krogh carries the ball down the sideline for the Miners en route to a 55-0 win Friday at Hooper Stadium.
Photo: Elias Funez

Cormack led the Miners’ ground attack, rushing for 200 yards and two touchdowns (35, 45) on just eight carries.

Baker followed with 75 rushing yards, including a 14-yard touchdown burst. The 6-foot, 3-inch, 240-pound quarterback also threw for 100 yards and two touchdowns (5, 30), both of which were hauled in by Webster.

Sophomore quarterback Dustin Philpott also showed off his offensive prowess, tossing a 6-yard touchdown pass to Bodey Eelkema in the second quarter, and rushing for a score in the third quarter.

Sophomore running back Cole McCracken also reached pay dirt in the game, taking his only carry 55-yards for a touchdown.

Leading the push up front was offensive lineman Timber Wilkins, Elliot Tinnel, Ryder Querequincia, Julian Spackman, Tim Steffenson and Aidan Harrison.

Nevada Union starting quarterback Gabe Baker fires a pass during Friday’s Foothill Valley League win over the Rio Linda Knights. Baker finished the night with two passing touchdowns and a rushing touchdown.
Photo: Elias Funez

The Miners terrorized Rio Linda’s quarterback all night, notching eight sacks as a team and allowing just 31 yards through the air. The Knights didn’t fare any better in the run game.

“I love watching our guys fly to the ball,” said Sparks. “It’s like old school NU football where 11 guys are running all over the place like crazed animals.”

The Nevada Union Miners opened Foothill Valley League play with a blowout win over Rio Linda Friday night at Hooper Stadium.
Photo: Elias Funez

Leading the defensive charge for NU was junior safety Trayton Santos, junior defensive end John Grogan and senior defensive end Steffenson.

“We just kept flying to the ball,” said Grogan, who had two sacks in the win. “We kept trying our hardest and didn’t back down.”

Santos also tallied two sacks and finished with a team-high 11 tackles. The skilled defensive back also saw action on offense, rushing the ball five times for 65 yards.

Nevada Union quarterback Gabe Baker rumbles through the Rio Linda defense during the Miners 55-0 rout of the Rio Linda Knights.
Photo: Elias Funez

Steffenson tallied two sacks as well and finished the night with seven total tackles.

Also making plays on defense was senior defensive lineman Jacob VanDale (eight tackles, two tackles for a loss), senior defensive tackle Brayden Dearman (seven tackles), senior linebacker Jedi Vculek (seven tackles), sophomore defensive tackle Ricky Kiser (five tackles), junior defensive end Clay Renner (sack) and junior defensive back Tyler Rickets (sack).

“We did our plays right. It felt good,” said junior defensive tackle Jack Jorgensen. “Our defense was really good and (my teammates) played really good tonight.”

The Miners now turn their attention to a homecoming showdown against rival Placer (0-5) at Hooper Stadium next week.


The Bear River Bruins opened Pioneer Valley League play with an upset win over Marysville, 14-13, Friday night.

The Bruins (1-3, 1-0 PVL) trailed Marysville, 7-6, at halftime but rallied in the second half and held a 14-7 lead late in the fourth quarter. Marysville would get into the end zone late in the game, but failed on the two-point try.

Senior fullback Ryder Kiggins scored two touchdowns and a two-point conversion to propel the Bruins to their first victory of the season.

For Marysville (4-2, 0-1 PVL), the loss snaps a four-game winning streak.

Next up for Bear River is a bout with PVL foe Center (2-2, 0-1 PVL) Friday at J. David Ramsey Stadium. Center dropped its league opener, 35-0, to Colfax (4-2, 1-0 PVL).

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, email




NU: Gabe Baker – 6-for-12, 100 yards, 2 touchdowns

NU: Dustin Philpott – 3-for-5, 35 yards, touchdown


NU: Cameron Cormack – 8 carries, 200 yards, 2 touchdowns

NU: Gabe Baker – 4 carries, 75 yards, touchdown

NU: Trayton Santos – 5 carries, 65 yards

NU: Cole McCracken – 1 carry, 55 yards, touchdown


NU: Andrew Webster – 2 catches, 35 yards, 2 touchdowns


NU: Trayton Santos – 11 tackles, 2 sacks

NU: Tim Steffenson – 7 tackles, 2 sacks

NU: John Grogan – 4 tackles, 2 sacks




NU: Andrew Webster 5-yard pass from Gabe Baker. Justin Lopez kick. (8:39)

NU: Cameron Cormack 35-yard run. Lopez kick. (4:46)

NU: Baker 14-yard run. Lopez kick. (3:13)


NU: Bodey Eelkema 6-yard pass from Dustin Philpott. Kick no good. (11:52)

NU: Cormack 45-yard run. Lopez kick. (9:53)

NU: Cole McCracken 55-yard run. Lopez kick. (5:30)

NU: Webster 30-yard pass from Baker. Lopez kick. (2:01)


NU: Philpott 2-yard run. Lopez kick. (5:56)



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