Max O’Rourke defines versatility.
The Rocklin High School senior starts at quarterback while handling the placekicking, punting and kickoff duties. He also can play wide receiver and defensive back for the No. 6 Thunder, which beat No. 16 Pleasant Grove on the road34-10 and spoiled Del Campo’s home-stadium debut 38-14. Friday night is the annual Quarry Bowl against rival Whitney (0-2), which must negate O’Rourke.
O’Rourke has thrown two touchdown passes, made three field goals and nine extra points, produced 12 touchbacks on kickoffs and averaged 37.2 yards per punt. So, yes, he’s valuable, Thunder coach Greg Benzel said.
“Max is a tremendous leader and a great decision maker,” Benzel said of his first-year starting quarterback. “It’s comforting to know that inside the other 20, we are almost guaranteed three points.”
Rocklin’s Riley Clark and Evyn Holtz average 149 rushing yards combined with five touchdowns. They also start at linebacker for a unit that has forced turnovers and been strong against the run. Matt Tyler has been Rocklin’s top lineman, starting at center and defensive tackle.
The Warriors entered last season with a 21-game losing streak as roster numbers declined with the opening of nearby Liberty Ranch in 2009. The streak ended with a 48-28 victory over Kennedy last September, but Galt finished the 2013 season with an eight-game losing streak, including four shutouts and two games in which it managed just six points.
The wins this season have come against Delhi (28-13) and Kennedy (46-14). Sophomore Zach Orman rushed for 351 yards, a school record, and three touchdowns against Kennedy.
“His tackles make noise,” El Camino coach Adam Reinking said. “He’s pretty darn good, and he plays fast. He runs scout defense for us, and it can be frustration because we’re not sure if plays are working with him in the middle. There’s the ‘Jim Factor’ as he blows plays up.”
“He is very tough and physical, a great leader,” Salinas said. “He was nominated by the team as a captain as a sophomore. He does have a bright future.”
The Hornets opened with a 35-7 win over Whitney and will play at longtime power Vacaville. The Hornets’ 13-0 record was ruined by Chaminade of West Hills in the Division II Bowl 41-9. Vacaville will offer Chaminade-like speed, which overwhelmed Enterprise in last December’s title game.
• Orlando Sanchez of Johnson leads the section with 435 rushing yards (13.2 per carry). He has five touchdowns.
• Brenden Nutt of Golden Sierra leads the area with 10 rushing touchdowns.
• Cordova quarterback Unique Perez has led the Lancers to a 2-0 start, matching last season’s victory total, while completing 73.2 percent of his passes and averaging 7.0 yards per rush.
• Trevor Nunez of Capital Christian has had three sacks in each of the Cougars’ two games, both wins.
• Zach Culp has a section-leading three interceptions for El Dorado (2-0).