Hometown Report: Oregon's Armstead celebrates

Published: Saturday, Sep. 8, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 2C
Last Modified: Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013 - 8:06 pm

Arik Armstead impressed in his Oregon Ducks debut last week against Arkansas State in Eugene, the defensive lineman out of Pleasant Grove High School recording two solo tackles in inching closer to a starting role. That was only part of the experience.

Armstead said he was "touched" when he learned that scores of Ducks fans sang "Happy Birthday" and held up signs to toast his mother, Christa, in the stands with her husband, Guss.

Steele wheels – A year ago, former Nevada Union standout Steele Jantz of Iowa State torched Iowa with four touchdown passes in a 44-41 triple-overtime classic. The teams play again today, with Jantz coming off a career-best 281-yard effort (two touchdowns passing and one running) to help beat Tulsa 38-23 in an opener. The last quarterback this exciting for Iowa State was Seneca Wallace of Cordova 10 years ago.

Shaq attack – The Washington Huskies may not equal LSU's speed today in Baton Rouge, La., but Shaq Thompson isn't one to lose footraces. The freshman safety from Grant starts in nickel packages, returns kickoffs and may get some looks at tailback with Washington thin at the position.

Zac attack – True freshman Zac Cunha of Roseville will start at quarterback for Minot State today at Wayne State. His father, Larry Cunha, who coached Zac the past three seasons, was scheduled to take a 5 a.m. flight to Nebraska today after coaching against Rio Linda on Friday night.

Otten patrol – San Jose State tight end Ryan Otten may have half of Loomis in his corner this evening when the Spartans entertain UC Davis. Otten starred at Del Oro and is considered an NFL prospect.

Mighty McKee – Part of the intrigue with community college football is never knowing who will show up. Sierra has an emerging quarterback in Myles McKee, a 6-foot-3 talent from Butte College by way of North Carolina. His six touchdown passes blistered Sacramento City 68-30 in a season opener.

Epps in end zone – San Francisco City College, the defending community college national champion again ranked No. 1 in the state, squeezed past Diablo Valley 48-41 in overtime last week when Andrew Spivey hit Grant graduate Dezmon Epps with the 25-yard touchdown pass. The Rams play at American River College, ranked fourth in the state, on Sept. 29.

NFL living

Remembering Rogers – The late Art Modell visited the family of Don Rogers in Sacramento in 1986 after the former Norte Del Rio and Cleveland Browns safety died from a cocaine overdose on the eve of his wedding. The former Browns owner was among the first in pro sports to establish a drug counseling program for his team in the early '80s, yet no one seemed to know – or admit – that Rogers had a problem.

Said Modell after Rogers' memorial at Arco Arena, "I will say that, tragically in death, Don Rogers may have made more of a contribution to society than he could have on the playing field. Let's hope his passing serves as a warning to those who want to try or have used drugs."

Rogers' death came weeks after that of Boston Celtics first-round draft pick Len Bias from the same cause.

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