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High school football notes: QB's emergence fuels Ponderosa surge

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 2C

Folsom's Jake Browning, Vista del Lago's Matt Jimison and Oak Ridge's Jason Samuels are among the Sac-Joaquin Section's most successful and prolific passers this season.

But up the hill in nearby Shingle Springs, Ponderosa's Jake Bist also is having an impact season for the 5-1 Bruins.

The senior has completed 84 of 135 passes for 1,120 yards and 12 touchdowns against only one interception for a 115 quarterback rating through six games. He's a big reason the Bruins have a shot at making the playoffs for the first time since 2007.

"We haven't had that super, amazing quarterback," said senior linebacker-fullback Jeff Camilli, explaining Ponderosa's 7-23 overall record the past three seasons. "Jake was a little shaky last year (a QB rating of 65). But he worked his butt off this offseason, and it's paying off. We have so much more confidence that we can put up points when we have to because of Jake."

Following Saturday's 17-3 Delta River League win over Jesuit, the Bruins have scored 244 points.

Last year, the Bruins scored 136 points in 10 games, albeit against a much tougher schedule that included nonleague losses to Elk Grove, Nevada Union and Rocklin.

This season, the Bruins are a last-second field goal (a 15-13 loss to then-No. 16 Rio Linda on Sept. 28) from being 6-0.

"When we had our coaches meeting, I told them we were the only team from our league last year not to go to the postseason," said Ponderosa coach Jason Tenner. "I told them we are going to join them this year. Obviously, beating Jesuit is a huge step in that direction."

The Bruins continue league play at home Friday against No. 8 Pleasant Grove. They visit No. 7 Oak Ridge on Oct. 19, host No. 3 Folsom on Oct. 26 and visit unranked Sheldon on Nov. 2.

Brother act – Deandre Stroughter is a 5-foot-8, 250-pound middle linebacker and running back for veteran coach Russ Hibbard at San Juan.

He's also the fifth and last Stroughter brother to play for Hibbard. Deren, Derek, Dion and Kevin all were contributors for the Spartans.

Deandre isn't too bad, either. The junior is one of the team's top rushers and tacklers. He's an every-down player for a 3-3 Spartans team with a roster of 18.

Hibbard has eight players starting on both sides of the ball.

"We're hanging in there," said Hibbard, who offers a study hall with a well-stocked refrigerator. "I keep feeding them lunch so the kids are keeping their grades up. We're trying to have fun."

Positive approach – Rio Americano senior Jordan Vinson probably didn't realize how quickly his words would become reality under Max Miller and his new staff.

"I'm excited to be with this coaching staff," Vinson said last week on the first day of practice under Miller, who was hired to replace ousted coach Christian Mahaffey. "Great things are going to happen here."

Great things happened for Vinson in Friday's 30-6 win over Cordova in a Capital Athletic League opener.

Miller moved the 6-3, 200-pound senior from offensive guard to running back, and he responded by rushing for 288 yards and three touchdowns.

Poole honored – Oakmont's first football coach and athletic director, Glenn Poole, was honored during the Vikings' 24-20 homecoming loss against Christian Brothers last Friday night.

Poole participated in the pregame coin flip and was presented with a commemorative photo taken of Poole and his wife, Shirley, the night of the Vikings' first football championship in 1969.

Poole also was Colfax's first football coach in the early 1960s.

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