Casa-Del Campo rivalry done after latest problem on field

10/18/2013 12:00 AM

10/08/2014 10:53 AM

The long-running rivalry between Casa Roble and Del Campo, which dates to 1976, is the latest annual football game to come to an end.

Last Friday's Capital Valley Conference contest in Orangevale, won by No. 14 Casa Roble 35-32 to drop Del Campo to 1-5, was marred by a late hit that prompted players to throw punches and swing helmets. It was the breaking point to a rivalry that in recent years included bad blood on social media that spilled onto the sidelines by some not even directly associated with the teams.

Over a 10-year stretch through the 2011 season, the winner of the Casa Roble-Del Campo game went on to win the league championship, intensifying the already heated rivalry. Realignment will separate the schools starting next academic year.

Veteran coaches Norm Ryan of Casa Roble and Mike Dimino of Del Campo discussed continuing the series but agreed to end it after Friday's incident.

"This is the last and final straw," Ryan said. "It's been an intense rivalry, but it's become an unhealthy rivalry. I am choosing not to play Del Campo, and Friday reinforced it."

Said Dimino: "It's become unhealthy, I agree. After what just happened Friday, I'm with Norm. Sometimes, it's not even the coaches who ignite it. It's people who hang out on the sideline talking. It's too bad."

The trouble started when a Del Campo player drove a Casa Roble player returning a kickoff well out of bounds and onto the track, crashing into sponsorship signs. Casa players surrounded the Del Campo player and it boiled from there. Coaches and referees worked frantically to separate the players. Three players were ejected, two from Del Campo, and will sit out tonight's games.

Repeated fights on the field halted the decades-long Foothill-Highlands series several years ago. Bad blood also halted the Davis-Woodland rivalry for a while, though those teams have resumed play.

Herd D – Second-ranked Elk Grove has posted three shutouts and allowed seven or fewer points in two other games in rolling to a 6-0 record. Three of the Thundering Herd's opponents – traditional powers Lincoln-Stockton, Del Campo and Nevada Union – are a combined 2-16.

The true test for Elk Grove's defense comes tonight in a key Delta Valley Conference game against No. 7 Grant (4-2), which has three-point losses to No. 6 Oak Ridge and No. 5 Del Oro.

Elk Grove has 32 sacks, 10 by linebacker Noah Letuligasenoa. Defensive end B'won Canada, nose tackle Sai Ta'amu, linebacker Spencer Sheff and defensive back Shaunard Harts are having strong seasons, coach Chris Nixon said.

Still undefeated – Eleven teams remain unbeaten in the 197-member Sac-Joaquin Section, including top-ranked Folsom, No. 2 Elk Grove, No. 3 Pleasant Grove, No. 11 Jesuit (playing Folsom tonight), No. 18 Colfax and No. 20 Rosemont – all 6-0.

Stat marvels – T.J. Dove of River Valley in Yuba City leads the section in rushing with 1,219 yards (and 12 touchdowns). Second is Jomon Dotson of American Canyon (near Fairfield) with 1,208 yards and 21 touchdowns.

Joining the 1,000-yard club last week were Floyd Hillis-Cooper of Kennedy (1,101) and Dane Stimbert of Lincoln (1,042).

Sacramento sophomore quarterback Caden Voges is second in the section in total yards per game at 368.2. Jake Browning of Folsom is No. 1 at 393, only 10 of which are rushing yards per game.

No. 19 Lincoln is 5-1 due in large part to its defense, led by Jesse Clay. The 6-foot-2, 230-pound senior end has a section-leading 13 sacks.

Ruben Garza has emerged as a scoring threat for Grant. The junior kicked three field goals in a 30-20 victory over Franklin last week.

Deon Johnson of Florin is second in the section in total return yards with 495, a bright spot on a 2-4 team that has had kick return teams on the field a lot. Kameron Williams of Rosemont is third with 487.

Follow Joe Davidson on Twitter @SacBee_JoeD, check out his PrepsPlus Insider every Monday at blogs.sacbee.com/preps and listen to his "Extra Point" every Wednesday on ESPN Radio 1320.

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