High School Sports

‘This is home’ Oakmont grinds out critical​ league win over Nevada Union

Oakmont quarterback Hayden Abbruzzese gallops past the Nevada Union defense during the Vikings’ 34-21 win Friday.
Oakmont quarterback Hayden Abbruzzese gallops past the Nevada Union defense during the Vikings’ 34-21 win Friday. Lenie's Pictures

Oakmont High School is home for Tim Moore.

He’s a proud alum of the Placer County school, graduating in 1991. He’s been the head football coach since 2009 and has been seeking his first winning season.

Until now.

The Vikings knocked off Nevada Union 34-21 on Friday night in a Foothill Valley League game in Roseville to secure their first winning season since 2005. The next goal is to reach the playoffs, though at least a share of the league championship is still possible, especially if the Vikings can upset Placer next week.

“I love Oakmont and this team,” Moore said. “They fought through adversity tonight. We aren’t done but it feels great to get win No. 6.”

Something that wasn’t broken was Nevada Union’s league losing streak that stretched to 38 games. The last time the Miners won a league game was 2012, when they were still a member of the Sierra Foothill League. N.U. has been competitive this season and is 4-3 overall.

Early on, it looked like that streak might end. Nevada Union took a 14-0 first-quarter lead on a pair of touchdowns by Jaxon Horne. He would finish with 113 yards rushing, 105 coming in the first half.

“Horne is one of the top running backs in this league,” Moore said. “We knew coming into this game he was their guy and if we could stop him, we had a shot to win.”

Oakmont in the second and third quarter found its rhythm and scored 26 unanswered points. The duo of quarterback Hayden Abbruzzese and running back Kane Rosko made up most of the Vikings offense. Rosko rushed for 118 yards and had touchdown runs of 3, 8 and 9 yards.

And in this system, the quarterback can run it too. Abbruzzese ran over defenders en route to a 105-yard night with a 10-yard score. He also passed for 215 yards and had a 30-yard touchdown pass to James Mintmier with 2:38 left to seal it.

The tenacious Vikings defense also forced a fumble and had a pair of interceptions by Matthew Bracken and Sean Myles. The offensive line of Ben Bateman, Agustin Espinoza, Matthew Kortie, Andrew Richards and Anthony Verba opened holes for playmakers and only allowed one sack.

“That group is getting better and better every week,” Moore said on the offensive line. “Even as the game goes on, they are getting better. If we didn’t have that group of guys, we wouldn’t be as good as we are right now.”

Moore soaked in the team’s 6-1 start. After the game, he sang the fight song proudly with his players.

Oakmont opened in 1966 and has made just two trips to the Sac-Joaquin Section finals, both in the late 1980s. Moore and his team understand that the Placer game could decide the league crown. Nevada Union plays Ponderosa next, which is coming off a big win over Lincoln, which is the only team to beat Oakmont.

“Placer is an amazing football program,” Moore said. “They run a great offense that we are going to have to step up next week. If we do our job, I feel like we have the defense to stop them.”

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