PREP FOOTBALL: Miners to face Napa on Hero Night |

PREP FOOTBALL: Miners to face Napa on Hero Night

Nevada Union linebacker Duke Morales pulls down Napa's Caden Cortese duringlast season's bout with the Indians. Morales and the Miners welcome Napa to Hooper Stadium tonight.
Elias Funez/


What: High School football

Who: Nevada Union (0-2) vs. Napa (0-2)

When: 7 p.m., Friday

Where: Hooper Stadium, Nevada Union High School

If this year’s matchup between Nevada Union and Napa is anything like the past two, fans of high school football are in for a treat.

Last season it took a pair of touchdowns from Dawson Fay and a staunch defensive effort in the final moments to propel the Miners to a one point victory over the Indians.

Two seasons ago, it was Napa coming up with a big defensive stop on a Miners two-point conversion that sent the Indians to a one-point double overtime victory over Nevada Union.

Now it’s time for the rubber match with both squads entering the game in search of their first win of the 2018 season.

“I feel really good about our kids and what we’re doing this week,” said Nevada Union head coach Brad Sparks. “I feel good about Jim Rubiales’ (defensive) game plan and how we’re going to attack them offensively. I’m really looking forward to the game.”

Nevada Union (0-2) gets the home field advantage this year and enters the contest on the heels of back-to-back lopsided losses to start the season. The Miners did show signs of improvement a week ago, when they got their ground game going and scored a pair of touchdowns with Sparks’ dual-scheme offensive approach.

“It’s still going to be that combo of running the traditional wing-T and the spread wing-T,” Sparks said. “I’ve got to do a better job of mixing it up a little bit.”

Defensively, the Miners are still trying to find their stride after allowing 86 points in their first two games.

The Indians, who like the Miners have a new head coach this season, enter the game after blowout losses to Pitman (55-7) and East Union (55-12). Napa has been especially weak against opposing team’s rushing attack, allowing 393 yards and five ground touchdowns to East Union last week.


Nevada Union’s second home game of the season is also Hero Night at Hooper Stadium, where all active or retired military, law enforcement, fire and EMS personnel will get into the game free. Heroes are asked to bring identification indicating their status. Alternatively, they can wear their uniform.

“Heroes aren’t just guys in the military, they are firemen and police officers,” said Brad Sparks. “We tell our kids all the time, ‘this is a football game. It’s important to us, but these people are out there saving people’s property and homes and livestock during the fire season.’

“Everybody knows what’s going on with law enforcement. These guys got a tough job today and we support them. We support our military and everything they do to protect our freedoms every day. We talk about that quite a bit. This is a football game, and it’s important to us and the community here at home, but there is a bigger picture out there. Those people are making it possible for us to have the simple problem of trying to win a football game.”


Nevada Union and Napa are scheduled to get going at 7 p.m. tonight at Hooper Stadium.

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

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