PREP FOOTBALL: Nevada Union set to face Granite Bay at Hooper Stadium
KNOW & GO
What: Nevada Union vs. Granite Bay
When: 7:30 p.m., today
Where: Hooper Stadium, Nevada Union High School
Follow along: On Twitter @WalterLFordIII or online at TheUnion.com
With two tough home games left on the 2017 schedule, Nevada Union football head coach Dennis Houlihan wants his players to embrace and enjoy their final Sierra Foothill League challenges.
“I want our kids to enjoy their last games at home,” said Houlihan. “Our seniors for sure. It’s their last time to have to endure the struggles of the SFL, and the others to go out and get ready to switch leagues and start rebuilding a little bit.”
The Miners (2-6, 0-4 SFL) are set to host a Granite Bay Grizzlies (5-2, 1-2 SFL) team that is coming off a pair of league losses to SFL front runners Folsom (8-0, 4-0 SFL) and Oak Ridge (7-0, 3-0 SFL).
The Grizzlies are led by 6-foot, 1-inch senior quarterback Jade Foddrill, who can beat opponents through the air and on the ground.
Granite Bay also boasts a ground game that features several ball carriers, but is led by senior Evan Tattersall. The 6-3, 225-pound Tattersall leads the team with seven rushing touchdowns this season. Through seven games, the Grizzlies have had eight different players score rushing touchdowns.
As a team, the Grizzlies are averaging 26 points per game, but have scored just 21 points in their last two games.
Looking to keep the Grizzlies offense contained will be an NU defense that has struggled in league play. The Miners allowed 23.3 points per game in non-league action, but have been allowing an average of 44.3 per game across four SFL games.
Leading NU’s defense all year has been senior linebacker Justin Houlihan, who leads the team with 80 tackles. Senior outside linebacker Jace Wheeler is second on the team in tackles with 37.
Nevada Union’s offense will also try to get on track after failing to score against Folsom a week ago. The Miners have found success on the ground this season behind running backs Dawson Fay and Tyler Nielson. Fay leads the team with 1,028 yards and 14 total touchdowns (11 rushing, one passing and two kickoff returns). Fay is the first NU player to top 1,000 yards in a season since Mo Nieves rushed for 1,139 yards in 2014. Nielson is second on the team with 441 rush yards to go with five total touchdowns (four rushing and one receiving). Fay leads all SFL rushers in yards this season and Nielson is seventh.
The Miners passing game has been inconsistent this season, and only tallied 41 yards a week a go. Quarterback Owen Dal Bon has 633 yards passing this season to go with three touchdowns and five interceptions. Dal Bon has run for two touchdowns this season.
Nevada Union’s offense, which averages 23.5 points per game, will face a stingy Granite Bay defense that allows just 17.3 points per game.
Last year, the Miners went up 14-0 on the Grizzlies before being outscored 34-7 the rest of the way. The Grizzlies have won the last eight matchups with Nevada Union. The last time the Miners topped Granite Bay was in 2006.
Nevada Union and Granite Bay are scheduled to get going at 7:30 p.m., today at Hooper Stadium.
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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