PREP FOOTBALL: Nevada Union comes up short against Granite Bay
Grizzlies 24, Miners 14
GB: Christian Fisher 1-yard run (10:03) Scott Henrichs kick
GB: Henrichs 27-yard field goal (5:02)
GB: Kyle Kraft 1-yard run (7:06) Henrichs kick
NU: Andrew Schnitzius 7-yard pass from Owen Dal Bon (0:18) kick blocked
GB: Henrichs 10-yard pass from Kraft (5:47) Henrichs kick
NU: Kase Scott 10-yard run (0:42) 2-point conversion good
For the first time this season, the Nevada Union football team gave a league opponent a run for their money.
The Miners battled Sierra Foothill League foe Granite Bay closely for much of the game Friday night, but just couldn’t get over on the Grizzlies, losing 24-14, at Hooper Stadium.
“I’m just proud of our guys,” said Nevada Union head coach Dennis Houlihan. “It takes a lot of courage to put their pads on every week, with the outcomes being the same week in and week out. It’s nice to see our guys play really hard, finish out a game and stay in it.”
Coming into the matchup, The Miners had lost their first three league games by an average of 52-11.
The Grizzlies (4-3, 1-2 SFL) took a big bite out of the Miners (1-7, 0-4 SFL) early in the game, scoring a touchdown on their opening drive, adding a field goal after blocking an NU punt, and tacking on seven more points with a 1-yard quarterback sneak midway through the second quarter.
But, the Miners kept plugging away and scored just before halftime on a 7-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Owen Dal Bon to senior tight end Andrew Schnitzius.
The Miners passing game improved from a week ago when it mustered only 18 yards.
Dal Bon, who split time with senior James Schnitzius, finished the game 3-for-11 for 44 yards and the one touchdown. Schnitzius went 4-for-10 for 52 yards.
On the Granite Bay side, quarterback Kyle Kraft was surgical from the pocket, completing 11-of-12 for 172 yards and one touchdown. Kraft also had a rushing touchdown on a quarterback sneak from the 1-yard line in the second quarter.
The key possession in the game came with Granite Bay up 17-6 in the fourth quarter. After an NU drive stalled at the Granite Bay 45 yard line, the Grizzlies took over at their own 20-yard line with 11 minutes and some change left on the clock. Granite Bay subsequently marched down the field, going 80 yards on 12 plays, eating up nearly six minutes of game clock before punching it in on a 10-yard pass from Kraft to Scott Henrichs.
Never give up
The Miners refused to go quietly into the night and made it interesting with a late drive that concluded with a Kase Scott touchdown run. On the play, Scott took the hand off on a sweep and cut hard upfield, barrelled through two defenders and just barely stretched the ball across the goal line for the touchdown.
“You got to go hard 100 percent of the time and show everybody that there is no reason to give up,” the senior running back said. “You have to keep going and pushing and see what can happen.”
Scott led the Miners with 72 rush yards and a touchdown on 14 carries. Scott also punched in the two-point conversion to bring NU to within 10 late in the fourth quarter.
The Miners tried an onside kick, but it failed to go 10 yards and Granite Bay took over and ran out the clock.
Despite the loss, the Nevada Union defense looked as good as it has all season, allowing just 24 points. Coming into the game, the Miners had yielded at least 42 points in all except one game this season.
“Really happy with the defensive effort,” Houlihan said. “They played really well.”
Leading the defensive effort was sophomore middle linebacker Justin Houlihan with 13 total tackles. Nick Whittlesey added 10 tackles (nine solo), including two for a loss. Scott also came up big on the defensive side of the ball as the two-way star amassed 11 tackles, including three for a loss and a sack.
“(Scott) is one senior you can just tell he doesn’t want it to end yet,” Dennis Houlihan said. “He’s playing really hard and I love it.”
Next up for the Miners is a home matchup with Oak Ridge (7-1, 4-0 SFL) Oct. 23.
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email email@example.com.
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