Simply put, it was Nevada Union that did the crushing Friday night, utilizing big play after big play to roll to a 45-19 victory over Vintage at Hooper Stadium.
With the win, NU improves its record to 2-0 in preseason action, while Vintage from Napa dropped to 0-2.
NU won a dramatic junior varsity game 46-42 with a goal line stand in the final seconds, while the Miners’ freshman team recorded its second straight shutout of the season, 47-0, as part of the NU sweep Friday.
Nevada Union scored the first two times it touched the ball Friday, starting when Chris Thibodeau took the opening kick-off 99 yards for touchdown.
“Vu (Pham) made a great fake on the return and took all the defenders with him,” Thibodeau said. “Once I saw open field, I was ready to just run.”
The Crushers drove to Miner territory with the ensuing possession, but an option pitch went awry and NU’s Travis Toll pounced on it on the Miner 36-yard-line.
On the next play, NU quarterback Jon Sheets found receiver Joe Dolan wide open on a post route for a 56-yard touchdown pass, giving the Miners a 14-0 advantage with 6 minutes, 53 seconds left in the first quarter.
Sheets hit Dolan for touchdown passes of 11 and 67 yards, as the Miners cruised to a 28-0 halftime lead. Ironically, Vintage nearly had as many first-half first downs as the Miners had offensive plays.
Dolan’s 11-yard score was set up by a 40-yard punt return by Jason Snavely, who found a seam along the Miners’ sideline, thanks to a devastating pancake block by Toll.
“We watched films and picked spots we thought they were weak,” Sheets said. “Joe is an all-Metro caliber receiver, and my line gave me time all day long.”
Pham added two touchdown runs in the second half, including another quick score, this time on the Miners’ first play of the second half.
By the time the Crushers were able to get on the scoreboard, NU led 35-0.
Vintage back Marc Carducci (173 yards rushing) scored two second-half touchdowns for the Crushers, including a 75-yard scamper in the fourth quarter.
But every time Vintage tried to grab the momentum, NU would come back with a score or big play of their own.
“We were a little better than the last time we played them, but still not good enough,” Vintage coach Les Franco said.
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: Moderator Trusted User
It’s just good to be back playing.