Woodcreek wants change of fortune
By KEITH JIRON
Woodcreek’s (Roseville) luck in its series with Bear River has been consistent.
The Timberwolves and Bruins have squared off in eight-straight seasons, with the pride of the south county coming out on top each time, including last season’s 29-6 home-field win.
“Of all of the teams in this area, Bear River impresses me the most,” third-year Timberwolves head coach Joe Mazzuca said. “(Despite) their smaller numbers, they’ve built a winner.”
“Everyone talks about platooning players and so forth, but what does Bear River do? They just put the best athletes on the field and go from there.”
Other than a couple of close calls – Bear River won by just seven in both 1996 and 2002 – the Bruins have treated their fans with six double-digit wins against the T’wolves.
That’s a trend Bear River (1-0 overall) head coach Scott Savoie hopes to keep alive when his boys hit the road for Woodcreek (0-1) Friday.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
“It seems like every year they get better and better,” said Savoie. “I was talking with Coach Mazzuca when we exchanged films, and he was telling me this was the best defense he’s had since he’s been there.”
“Looking at the film, their team’s definitely better than they were this time last year.”
Woodcreek’s wing-T chewed up turf to the tune of more than eight yards per carry, but that couldn’t make up for key defensive lapses in a 40-25 loss to Casa Roble (Orangevale) last Friday.
Sophomore wing back David Weld (5’9″, 155) may be new to varsity play, but he sure doesn’t play like a rookie. The speedster shredded the Rams’ defense for a game-high 121 yards on five carries with one touchdown.
“He can scoot,” Savoie said of Weld. “One of the biggest concerns I have, is having their running backs in the open field.”
While Casa Roble held senior tailback Patrick Deloach, who led the team in rushing last season with close to 600 yards, in check with 59 yards on 12 carries and no scores, Savoie said he’s just as dangerous as Weld.
“Last year against Casa Roble he tore up the field. He’s really fast,” Savoie said.
Fullback Blaine Brown (6’0″, 180), also a senior, made the most of his six carries last week with a pair of short-range scores.
Add to that the presence supersized tight end Ehab Eyah (6’4″, 235) and a big, mobile offensive line and it’s easy to see why Savoie’s not looking past Woodcreek this week.
“This is where our scrimmage with Nevada Union comes into play,” he said. “We saw the Delaware wing-T at its best in Northern California two weeks ago.”
“We know we have to make them work for all of their yards Friday. We have to make them ball control us and make sure we really step on the big play.”
While Woodcreek’s run defense did a respectable job versus Casa Roble, holding the Rams to 143 yards on 31 carries, it was through the air where the T’wolves got bitten.
Casa Roble connected on 18 of 27 pass attempts for 304 yards and four touchdowns.
“We definitely had trouble defending the pass last week,” Mazzuca said. “We have a young secondary, but I think we’ve made the necessary adjustments.”
Looking to shut Bear River down – both through the air and on the ground – will be senior linebackers Sean Sellers (6’1″, 190) and Vince Janes (5’11”, 170).
The duo combined for 17 tackles – nine solo – versus Casa Roble.
Senior defensive back Alex Tafoya (5’10”, 163) chipped in eight tackles, with David Lierly (6’3″, 170) right behind with seven stops.
Savoie admits while the Bruins’ passing game was hot last week – it totaled 150 yards with a touchdown – his boys will have to win the battle in the trenches if they hope to keep their unbeaten streak alive.
“Their defense has good size and speed. They’re definitely faster than they were last year,” he said. “We know we’re going to have to run the ball.
“Big shocker I know, Bear River running the ball. But that’s (the key).”
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