PREP FOOTBALL: Oak Ridge rocks Nevada Union, 38-7 |

PREP FOOTBALL: Oak Ridge rocks Nevada Union, 38-7

Nevada Union's sophomore running back Tyler Nielson runs the ball against Oak Ridge earlier this season. Nielson was named to the All-Sierra Foothill League Second Team.
John Hart |

Trojans 38, Miners 7

First quarter

OR: Kevin Kassis 38-yard pass from Ian Book (9:03) Nick Hulsing kick

OR: Kassis 27-yard pass from Book (7:02) Hulsing kick

OR: Rhys Kennedy 2-yard run (1:21) Hulsing kick

Second quarter

OR: Kassis 25-yard pass from Book (3:07) Hulsing kick

Third quarter

OR: Hulsing 25-yard field goal (8:18)

OR: Kennedy 57-yard run (5:09) Hulsing kick

Fourth quarter

NU: Justin Houlihan fumble recovery (8:01) Logan Siemers kick

In Nevada Union’s final home football game of the season the Miners simply couldn’t contend with Oak Ridge’s high powered offense and staunch defense, falling to the Trojans, 38-7, Friday night at Hooper Stadium.

“That’s the second best team in our league,” said Nevada Union head coach Dennis Houlihan of Oak Ridge (8-1, 5-0 Sierra Foothill League). “By far we were outgunned and outmanned for sure, but I thought our kids played hard and played until the end.”

In the first half it was the Ian Book show as the Oak Ridge quarterback dazzled through the air and on the ground. After an incompletion on his first pass, Book reeled off five straight completions, including two for touchdowns to Kevin Kassis. Book would add another touchdown pass to Kassis just before the half, finding his favorite target in the back corner of the end zone with a jump ball that Kassis ripped down. Kassis finished the game with four catches for 110 yards and three scores, all coming in the first half.

Book, a Notre Dame commit, completed 12-of-18 passes for 207 yards and three touchdowns in the first half alone. He only threw one pass in the second half and it was dropped. Book was also the Trojans’ most potent running threat, racking up 120 rushing yards on 10 carries before being replaced in the third quarter.

Book’s only mistake of the night came late in the second quarter when he was picked off by Nevada Union’s Andrew Link who darted in front of an Oak Ridge receiver to make the interception. It was only Book’s third interception of the season.

As for Nevada Union’s offense, it struggled against the Trojan defense, and was unable to score any points. Twice the Miners breached the red zone, but both trips yielded no points as the Miners fumbled away one opportunity and turned the ball over on downs on the other.

The Miners only points came in the fourth quarter when Justin Houlihan recovered a Trojan fumble in the end zone to get NU on the board. Houlihan, a sophomore, had another strong night on defense with nine tackles (six solo) and now has a team-high 85 total tackles on the season.

Bright spots for the NU offense came from sophomore Tyler Nielson who tallied 98 yards rushing on 14 carries. Senior Kase Scott added 64 yards on 12 carries and had two receptions for 20 yards.

The Miners passing game was meager once again, completing 4-of-13 attempts and totaling just 52 yards.

Friday’s loss means Nevada Union will not have a home win this season. It’s the second time in three years under Dennis Houlihan that the Miners will be winless at home.

It was also Senior Night at Hooper Stadium and before the game NU honored their upperclassmen.

The Miners (1-8, 0-5 SFL) have a bye next Friday and close the season on the road at Rocklin Nov. 6.

JV: Oak Ridge 22, Nevada Union 14

Nevada Union’s Dawson Fay ran for 130 yards and caught a late touchdown but it wasn’t enough as Oak Ridge edged the Miners in the junior varsity game Friday at Hooper Stadium.

NU’s Kyle Felhaber added 64 yards rushing and quarterback Chase Ruble threw for 66 yards and a touchdown in the loss.

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

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User