This one figured to be a track meet, fast and furious.
And so it was on Friday night at Mark Macres Stadium, where No. 6 Monterey Trail High School raced past nearby Cosumnes Oaks 63-28 in a nonleague meeting of Elk Grove Unified School District programs that live to run.
Monterey Trail elevated its program after opening in 2004 with the veer offense, which is heavy on blocking and the run, under founding and current coach T.J. Ewing.
Cosumnes Oaks, opened in 2008, has featured its share of receivers who played big-time college ball and now features perhaps the best running back in program history. Jacob Trach, fresh off of a school-record 383-yard, six-touchdown effort against River City, had his moments against the Mustangs, but he was outnumbered.
Trach jetted for scores of 79, 7 and 7 yards and had 166 rushing yards. Monterey Trail countered with its devastating 1-2-3 punch, led by team and campus leader Zach Larrier, a national recruit in football and track and field with perfect grades.
Larrier, playing quarterback, scored on runs of 8, 55 and 35 yards and tossed touchdown passes of 48 and 19 yards to Andre Crump and 40 to Brandon Hwa. So yes, the senior has wheels and an arm.
And he has some swift teammates, including running backs Jehiel Budgett and Viktor Oliver. Budgett rushed for 131 yards and had scoring runs of 48 and 11 yards. Oliver rushed for 91 yards, including a 55-yard touchdown sprint.
The unsung stars here are the guys in the trenches. The Mustangs offensive line: Noah Casarez, Exavier Malanca, Daniel Ramirez, Lathun Snipes and Anthony Thompson.
Monterey Trail continues to defy logic in that it overwhelms teams despite small roster numbers. The Mustangs trot out 33 players, but Ewing said his team’s heart is without measure. The Mustangs seek their eighth playoff berth since 2009, a run that includes two trips to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I finals.
“Our guys play hard, always,” Ewing said. “They always work for it.” A Bay Area native, Ewing said he learned the value of hard work from his grandparents, who were farmers in Iowa. “Spend your summers bailing hay,” Ewing said. “A city boy!”
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