Josh Gazzaniga threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Conor Kheeley and 7-yard strike to Andrew Birch and Dante Pericin returned an interception 20 yards for a score as No. 5 Del Oro defeated San Diego power Cathedral Catholic 22-12 in a nonleague opener Friday night in Loomis to make the debut of new coach Jeff Walters a success.
Cathedral Catholic’s Shawn Poma had a 73-yard touchdown run in the first quarter and Nick Guerena threw a 2-yard touchdown to Jake Goddard midway in the third quarter that tied the score 12-12.
The game was a matchup of two of the state’s perennial powerhouses.
Under former coach Casey Taylor, Del Oro won the 2015 state Division II-AA championship over Camarillo and was runner-up to San Clemente in last year’s D I-A final, both at Sacramento State.
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Cathedral Catholic won last year’s D I-AA state title at Hornet Stadium in completing a 15-0 season and earning a No. 16 national ranking by Maxpreps.com.
No. 1 Folsom 56, Coeur d’Alene 33 in Folsom – Kaiden Bennett passed for 196 yards and three touchdowns after Daniyel Ngata opened the game with a 93-yard kickoff return, and the top-ranked Bulldogs rolled the second-ranked team in Idaho, storming to a 56-8 lead before playing reserves.
Brandon Rupchock rushed for two scores and caught one, and Tanner Ward returned a fumble 40 yards for a touchdown for Folsom.
No. 4 Oak Ridge 49, No. 20 Vista del Lago 0 in El Dorado Hills – Marco Baldacchino rushed for 105 yards and two touchdowns and completed 13 of 17 passes for 167 yards and a 42-yard touchdown to Justin Poerio, and Davin Simmons had three rushing touchdowns to lead the Trojans. Poerio had 10 catches for 129 yards, and he had an interception.
No. 9 Rocklin 24, No. 8 Grant 14 in Rocklin – Blayden Brown rushed for a 19-yard touchdown, and Cade Wyant hit Charlie McBride and Garet Ruffner for scores to lead the Thunder, which led 24-0 in the third quarter in what coach Greg Benzel described as “a great physical game for us.”
No. 10 Capital Christian 43, Service 14 in Rosemont – Christian Simmons scored five touchdowns, including three rushing, and Chris McCoy returned an interception for a touchdown as the Cougars defeated the Anchorage, Alaska visitors in Casey Taylor’s debut. Taylor took over Capital Christian after 15 championship seasons at Del Oro.
No. 11 Franklin 40, McNair 14 at Cosumnes Oaks – Jalen Lampley rushed for 141 yards and two scores and returned a kickoff 80 yards to the end zone for the Wildcats, whose top lineman effort came from Zach Upshaw, a converted fullback.
No. 12 Sheldon 63, Woodcreek 6 at Sheldon – Austyn Hurts ran for three touchdowns and Tyrell Smith scored on two 77-yard runs for the Huskies, who rushed for nine touchdowns to overwhelm the Timberwolves.
No. 13 Sacramento 47, Mitty 21 in Los Altos Hills – The Dragons jumped to a 35-7 second-quarter lead, including a Deyvon Drayton 48-yard touchdown run and 60-yard Anthony Bradley touchdown catch, in Joe McCray’s varsity coaching debut.
No. 14 Antelope 41, Nevada Union 15 in Antelope – Nathan Lucero completed 13 of 17 passes for 194 yards and three touchdowns, and Moses Paul rushed for 104 yards and two touchdowns as the Titans won their 24th consecutive regular-season game dating to 2014.
River Valley 42, No. 15 Cosumnes Oaks 27 in Yuba City – The Falcons shocked the Wolfpack as Dawson McPeak hit Nick Barnes for 174 yards in passes, including a 66-yard score, and Evan Strickland rushed for two first-half scores to avenge a 28-0 loss at Cosumnes Oaks last season.
No. 17 Whitney 50, Davis 28 in Davis – Preston Eklund threw four touchdown passes and rushed for another, and Payne Barksdale had a 70-yard touchdown run to power the Wildcats.
No. 18 Del Campo 41, Merced 14 in Merced – Tyler Dimino had four first-half touchdowns, three to Marshaun Hunter, and Levi Markey and Greg Cabral rushed for 157 and 131 yards, respectively for the Cougars who led 27-0 at the half.
No. 19 Placer 49, Pleasant Grove 30 in Auburn – Michael Stuck threw two touchdown passes to Travis Warren to lead the Hillmen past the Eagles, who were led by Dane Kaiser’s four touchdown passes.
Monterey Trail 28, Wilcox 20 in Santa Clara – Zach Larrier rushed for 148 yards and two scores and Andrew Almonte had 17 tackles, 10 solo, for the Mustangs, who beat the Bay Area team for the second successive season.
Bradshaw Christian 65, Kennedy 8 in South Sacramento – Charles Williams threw two touchdowns to Logan Cagle and also rushed for a score, and Mateo Bromstead ran for 118 yards and two touchdowns for the Pride.
Colfax 55, Golden Sierra 7 in Garden Valley – Colton Reeves returned the opening kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown and Mason Ahrens returned a punt 78 yards for a score to spark the Falcons, who received three touchdown runs from Troy Little.
Natomas 48, Pioneer 13 in Woodland – Jaden Johnson scored four touchdowns to lead the Nighthawks.
Rio Linda 50, Center 37 in Rio Linda – Cameron Skattebo rushed for 128 yards and three touchdowns on 12 carries, caught a 33-yard touchdown pass and had 11 tackles; and Jett Jones rushed for 128 yards on eight carries and a touchdown and also returned a kickoff for a touchdown for the Knights, who outscored the Cougars 21-9 in the second half.
Bear River 49, Orland 7 in Lake of the Pines – Stephen Taylor rushed for 153 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries, and Tre Maronic rushed for three scores for the Bruins who won three games during an injury-plagued 2016 season.