PREP FOOTBALL: Miners trampled by Fighting Zebras (VIDEO/PHOTO GALLERY)
LINCOLN — Head coach Brad Sparks summed up his team’s showing against Lincoln in two words.
“Butt kicked,” said the second year Nevada Union skipper after his football team fell on the road to the Fighting Zebras, 34-3, in a Foothill Valley League bout Friday night. “We got to a point where we couldn’t do anything. We made a ton of mental mistakes … We killed ourselves with false starts, we threw interceptions, we had two holds on big plays … If you shoot yourself in the foot, you tend to not be very successful.”
Nevada Union was stagnant offensively as the ground attack never got going and the pass game proved more fruitful for the Zebras than it did for the Miners.
NU rushed for less than 100 yards for the first time all season, managed just 70 yards through the air and turned the ball over four times (three interceptions, one lost fumble).
“They’re a good football team,” Sparks said of Lincoln. “When you can beat Whitney and Antelope, you’re a pretty good football team.”
Lincoln had very little trouble moving the ball as junior quarterback J.T. Willis tossed two first half touchdowns, a 12-yarder to Seth Sampson and a 19-yarder to Caden Noonan. Sampson also ripped off a 60-yard touchdown run which came on the first play from scrimmage in the second half. Junior kicker Preston Bean drilled a pair of field goals, including one from 46-yards out in the third quarter.
The Zebras put the game away late in the third quarter when Ethan Rappa intercepted an errant NU pass and took it back 75-yards for a touchdown.
NU’s only points came early in the first quarter when senior kicker Moises Tovar hit a 27-yard field goal. The score was set up by a long kick return by A.J Meyer.
Junior running back Jaxon Horne led all NU ball carriers with 50 yards on 22 carries. It was the first game all season in which Horne didn’t score at least one touchdown.
Through the air, NU’s junior quarterback J.T. Conway went 10-for-20 for 70 yards and three interceptions. All three interceptions came deep in Lincoln territory.
The loss drops the Miners to 5-4 overall and 1-3 FVL play. Lincoln improves to 5-4 overall and 2-2 against league foes.
“Lincoln was a better team tonight,” said Sparks. ”We need to do a better job when we go to face Rio Linda.”
AROUND THE FVL
Placer (7-2, 4-0 FVL) remained unbeaten in league play with a 38-7 victory over Ponderosa (4-5, 1-3 FVL). Rio Linda (7-2, 3-1 FVL) held on to the no. 2 spot in the standings with a, 63-35, win over Oakmont (6-3, 1-3 FVL).
The Miners close the regular season on the road at Rio Linda.
“What we have to do this week is prepare to beat Rio (Linda). Not turn the ball over and not make mental mistakes,” said Sparks. “If we do those things we will be just fine against Rio Linda. We can go into Rio Linda and win, but we can’t go into Rio Linda and make the mistakes we made tonight.”
PRACTICE PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
The Tractor Supply Practice Players of the Week are junior defensive end/offensive lineman Nathaniel Ward and senior offensive lineman Kyler Case.
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4232.
SCORE BY QUARTER
ZEBRAS 34, MINERS 3
NU: Moises Tovar 27-yard field goal 8:15
L: Seth Sampson 12-yard pass from J.T. Willis (Preston Bean kick) 5:21
L: Caden Noonan 19-yard pass from Willis (Bean kick) 4:23
L: Bean 31-yard field goal :00
L: Sampson 60-yard run (Bean kick) 11:44
L: Bean 46-yard field goal 5:43
L: Ethan Rappa 75-yard interception return (Bean kick) 3:14
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