No. 15 Rio Linda looked like it was going to coast to victory against visiting Ponderosa in Friday night’s Foothill Valley League opener in front of a festive homecoming crowd.
But the Knights wound up needing every one of Abraham Banks’ 283 rushing yards and four touchdown runs to prevail over the Bruins 37-34.
The defending CIF State Division 5-A champions led Ponderosa by 20 points midway through the third quarter after Banks ran for scores of 92, 36, 34 and 1 yards. But unranked Ponderosa refused to go away.
Ty Uber threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Jackson Hubert, then Uber scored on a 2-yard touchdown plunge that enabled the Bruins to close to 34-27 late in the third quarter. Rio Linda (5-1, 1-0) twice held Ponderosa (3-3, 0-1) on downs in the fourth quarter before Kyle Deloney-Spencer gave the Knights what proved to be the winning points with a 22-yard field goal with about a minute to play.
In a flash, Uber and Hubert connected on another 20-yard touchdown to allow Ponderosa to close to within seven points before the Knights recovered the onside kick near midfield to preserve the win.
Star running back Cameron Skattebo complemented Banks with 126 rushing yards and a touchdown, and Banks also was a beast on defense with six tackles, two pass breakups and a fumble recovery.
No. 3 Inderkum 71, Woodcreek 9 in Roseville – Aaron Espero rushed for touchdowns of 83 and 15 yards and returned a fumble recovery 42 yards for a touchdown; Dino Watson and Willie Hardy Jr. each scored two touchdowns; and the Tigers (6-0, 2-0) defense recovered five fumbles in the Capital Valley Conference game against the Timberwolves (2-5, 1-2). Mason Shaffer booted a 45-yard field goal for Woodcreek.
No. 4 Oak Ridge 45, Grant 23 in Del Paso Heights – Justin Lamson threw for 296 yards and two touchdowns — both to Avant Jacobs — and Dylan Warfield rushed for 101 yards and two touchdowns as the Trojans (4-2, 1-2) beat the Pacers (1-5, 0-2) in the SFL. Kamari Hunt rushed for a 64-yard touchdown and had an interception and kicker Jordan Davis booted a 28-yard field goal for Grant. Oak Ridge had lost league thrillers by three and six points to No. 1 Folsom and No. 2 Rocklin.
No. 5 Monterey Trail 70, River City 7 at Monterey Trail – Viktor Timonin threw touchdown passes to Kevin Adams Jr., Jasdev Banwait and Antonio Williams; Prophet Brown returned a kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown and had a 39-yard rushing touchdown and Chris Lands rushed for two touchdowns in the Mustangs’ (5-1, 1-0) Metro League win over the Raiders (1-5, 0-1). Nekhi Broadway returned an interception 35 yards for a score, one of four turnovers produced by Monterey Trail’s defense.
No. 6 Elk Grove 62, No. 12 Pleasant Grove 21 at Elk Grove – Carter Harris rushed for 184 yards on six carries and had touchdowns of 64, 48, and 2 yards and threw a 59-yard touchdown pass to Hunter Hall; Hall also had a 75-yard touchdown run and Khalani Riddick returned a 90-yard kickoff for a touchdown as the Thundering Herd (5-1, 3-0) throttled the Eagles (4-2, 1-2).
No. 8 Capital Christian 35, Del Campo 0 in Fair Oaks – Austin Amador passed for 128 yards and rushed for a touchdown; Rico Flores Jr. had five catches for 136 yards and caught a 70-yard touchdown pass from Max Rodarte, who also returned an interception 32 yards for a touchdown; and Isaiah Bass returned a punt 62 yards for a touchdown as Capital Christian (5-2, 3-0) topped Del Campo (3-3, 0-1) in a Capital Athletic League game played Thursday. Zeke Burnett also had 110 all-purpose yards for Capital Christian.
No. 9 Vacaville 42, Rodriguez 10 in Fairfield – Nick Pine threw a 25-yard touchdown to Michael Otterstedt and Coulter Malone, Geremiah Brown, Chris Island, Logan Cunningham and Darian Leon-Guerrero rushed for touchdowns as the Bulldogs (4-2, 1-0) beat the Mustangs (0-6, 0-1) in the Monticello Empire League opener.
No. 13 Granite Bay 23, No. 18 Whitney 0 in Granite Bay – Dillon Hamilton threw 64- and 39-yard touchdown passes to Cobe Weeks and tossed a 51-yard touchdown to Ty Peterson; Christian Perry and Peterson had interceptions; and the Grizzlies (4-3, 2-1) kept the Wildcats (3-4, 1-2) out of the end zone in the SFL. Justin Sampson added a 44-yard field goal.
No. 14 Center 48, No. 16 Bear River 17 in Antelope – Michael Wortham completed 15 of 19 passes for 273 yards and two touchdowns and also rushed for two touchdowns and Legend Young had a 40-yard rushing touchdown and 30-yard touchdown catch as the Cougars (6-0, 1-0) powered past the Bruins (6-1, 0-1) in the Pioneer Valley League. Bear River suffered a huge loss when senior playmaker and team leader Tre Maronic had to leave the game in the second quarter with an injured collarbone.
No. 17 Lincoln 28, No. 20 Oakmont 17 in Lincoln – J.T. Willis threw for 114 yards and three touchdowns and the Fighting Zebras (4-2, 1-0) scored two fourth quarter touchdowns to rally past the Vikings (5-1, 0-1) in the Foothill Valley League on Hometown Heroes night. Hayden Abbruzzese’s touchdown pass to Vinnie Marquez early in the fourth quarter gave Oakmont a brief 17-14 lead.
No. 19 Placer 28, Nevada Union 14 in Grass Valley – Hans Grassmann rushed for 83 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries and Martin Haswell threw a 52-yard scoring strike to Logan Groth to lift the Hillmen (4-2, 1-0) over the Miners (4-2, 0-1) in the Foothill Valley League opener.
Roseville 32, River Valley 31 in Yuba City – Terrell E Williams caught a touchdown pass with 1:12 to play to lift the Tigers (5-2, 3-0) over the Falcons (2-4, 0-2) in a wild back-and-forth Capital Valley Conference game. Ian Harvey’s quarterback keeper for a touchdown had put River Valley ahead 31-26 with 3:38 to play. Harvey and George Baker combined for a 75-yard touchdown earlier in the game.
Mesa Verde 20, Pioneer 7 in Woodland – Trailing 7-6 early in the second half, the Mavericks (4-1, 1-0) pulled away on touchdown runs by Jaden Burger and Shae Johnson to top the Patriots (3-3, 0-1) in the Golden Empire League opener.
Colfax 10, Foothill 7 in Colfax – Dylan Garcia booted a 44-yard field goal with 18 seconds to play to lift the Falcons (4-2, 1-0) over the Mustangs (4-2, 0-1) in the Pioneer Valley League defensive tussle.
Highlands 42, Rio Vista 7 in North Highlands - Chrichion Brown tossed five touchdown passes, two to Greg Nivison, and one a 95-yarder to Harim Reynolds as the Scots (6-0, 1-0) rolled over the Rams (5-1, 0-1) in the Sierra Delta League battle of unbeatens.
Vista del Lago 84, Rio Americano 29 in Folsom –Behind the passing of Nik Goodwin, receiving of Carson King and rushing of Ethan Menezes and Jaxson Hansen, the Eagles (6-1, 3-0) offense soared throughout the Capital Athletic League game against the Raiders (1-5, 0-2).
Western Sierra Academy 28, Foresthill 21 in Roseville – Chris Delaloye rushed for four touchdowns for the Wolves (2-4, 1-0) of Rocklin in bettering Kaiden Pennington’s three touchdown passes for the Wildfires (2-4, 0-1) in the Sacramento Metro Athletic League opener played at Mahany Park.
Antelope 42, Bella Vista 13 in Fair Oaks – The Titans (3-4, 2-1) exploded for 28 second quarter points to top the Broncos (0-6, 0-3) in the Capital Valley Conference while also extending Bella Vista’s Sac-Joaquin Section record losing streak to 40 consecutive games.
Laguna Creek 24, Burbank 21 at Burbank - Sophomore Oscar Rivas made a 15-yard field goal with three seconds remaining to lift the Cardinals (4-2, 1-0) past the Titans (0-6, 0-1) in the Metro League. Randy Brewster and Alex Sanchez each scored rushing touchdowns for Laguna Creek, which went 1-9 last season.
Union Mine 34, Rosemont 33 in Rosemont – Andrew Merrill returned two interceptions for touchdowns and Devin Williams also returned an interception for a score to lift the Diamondbacks (4-2, 1-0) over the error-prone Wolverines (5-1, 0-1) in the Sierra Valley Conference opener. Zion Gedeon rushed for four touchdowns and Kyle Masterson threw a touchdown pass in the final seconds, but Rosemont failed to convert the PAT.
Bradshaw Christian 28, Liberty Ranch 7 in South Sacramento – Elijah Christian rushed for 24- and 15-yard touchdowns, David Carr threw a 64-yard touchdown pass to Jaylen Patterson and Jeremiah Bonner-Hayes rushed for a 51-yard score to lead the Pride (4-2, 1-0) over the Hawks (2-4, 0-1) in the Sierra Valley Conference.
El Dorado 21, Galt 17 in Galt – Danny Bell’s 3-yard touchdown run with eight minutes to play rallied the Cougars (3-3, 1-0) over the Warriors (4-2, 0-1) in the Sierra Valley Conference. Robert Bulahan Jr. rushed for a 3-yard touchdown and completed a 10-yard touchdown pass to Marcelo Lopez and Ethan Reece booted a 30-yard field goal for Galt.
Valley 40, Florin 0 at Cosumnes River College – Kalani Hunter caught 40- and 20-yard touchdown passes to lead the Vikings (2-4, 1-0) to a convincing victory over the Panthers (0-6, 0-1) in the Greater Sacramento League.