The pregame celebration amid scores of players in blue and gold nearly turned into a dark and dreary night for a red-faced coach.
On a night that the Rutherford Stadium field at Grant High School was named after famed, longtime coach Mike Alberghini, it took a blocked 35-yard field-goal attempt with 13 seconds left for the No. 4 Pacers to preserve a 21-20 victory over Sheldon on Friday and avoid the upset of the season in Northern California, and surely one of the biggest upsets in regional history.
David Moala blocked the kick, sending the Pacers into celebration mode.
Under Alberghini since 1991, Grant has won 15 league titles and seven Sac-Joaquin Section championships, including last season. Alberghini has gone 259-50-1 at Grant, though some of the games have been agonizingly close. The Pacers (7-1, 4-1) beat Fresno powerhouse Bullard 14-7 and downed Monterey Trail 21-6. Deshawn Collins rushed for 203 yards and three touchdowns, and Mike Green had 160 yards for the Pacers against Sheldon (2-6, 0-5).
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No. 1 Folsom 28, No. 8 Rocklin 14 in Folsom – Jake Jeffrey passed for two touchdowns and ran for one as the Bulldogs (8-0, 5-0) defeated the Thunder (5-3, 2-3) in the Sierra Foothill League game to extend two streaks. Folsom has won a state-leading 24 consecutive games and 39 in a row in regular-season play, dating to 2011. Drake Stallworth had a 40-yard interception return for a touchdown to open the scoring, and Jeffrey hit Tre Green for a 29-yard touchdown and Keoni Zagata-Vera from 10 yards. Stallworth had two interceptions. Evyn Holz had touchdown runs of 22 and four yards for Rocklin.
No. 2 Elk Grove 31, Monterey Trail 20 at Monterey Trail – Ryan Robards rushed for 221 yards and two touchdowns on 31 carries, and he caught a scoring pass from Jayden Machado as the Thundering Herd (8-0, 5-0) beat the Mustangs (3-5, 1-4) in the Delta League. Robards also boomed a 47-yard field goal at the end of the first half. The multitalented Robards entered the game as the state’s No. 2 scorer with 179 points on 28 touchdowns and three field goals.
No. 3 Oak Ridge 38, Nevada Union 7 in Grass Valley – Ian Book threw touchdown passes of 53, 38 and 34 yards – all to Kevin Kassis – and Rhys Kennedy rushed for two touchdowns to lead the Trojans (8-1, 5-0) over the Miners (1-8, 0-5) in the SFL.
No. 6 Antelope 27, No. 13 Del Campo 20 in Fair Oaks – Montel Aaron passed for 265 yards, accounted for two scores and was part of a trick play that won it for the Titans (8-0, 3-0) as they inched closer to the Capital Valley Conference title. Aaron passed to wide receiver Davaeon Johnson, who then hit Ryan McCombs for the winner with 3 minutes remaining. Javone Jackson rushed for 196 and two scores for Del Campo (6-2, 3-1).
No. 7 Granite Bay 28, Woodcreek 21 in Granite Bay – Christian Fisher scored on an eight-yard run with five minutes to play, and the Grizzlies (5-3, 2-2) held the Timberwolves (5-3, 1-3) on downs on the Granite Bay 23 to prevail in the SFL. Kyle Kraft threw two touchdown passes to Scott Henrichs.
No. 18 Jesuit 27, No. 9 Franklin 20 at Jesuit –Calvin Brownholtz hit a wide-open Jonah Allman for a 47-yard touchdown with 58.2 seconds to play, and the Marauders kept their playoff hopes alive. Brownholtz scored on a one-yard keeper to make it 20-20 earlier in the fourth, and Dalvin Jamal-Milton had touchdown runs of 25 and five yards for Jesuit. Lamar Jackson had a 40-yard touchdown run for Franklin after replacing quarterback Jacob Lopez, who suffered a broken ankle.
No. 10 Placer 26, No. 12 Bear River 14 in Grass Valley – Owen Scott ran for touchdowns of three yards and one yards, Waylen Cozad scored on a seven-yard run, and Derek Haney iced it with an 11-yard score as the Hillmen (8-0, 3-0) beat the Bruins (7-1, 2-1) in the Pioneer Valley League.
No. 14 Whitney 24, Roseville 14 in Rocklin – Josh Daniels, subbing for injured starting quarterback Hunter Rodrigues, threw a six-yard touchdown pass to Brandon McCarter and rushed for an eight-yard score to lead the Wildcats (6-2, 4-1) over the Tigers (3-5, 1-4) in the CVC. Nick Enriquez had a 99-yard kickoff return for Roseville.
No. 16 Cosumnes Oaks 70, Bella Vista 8 in Elk Grove – Maurice Hayden passed for 177 yards and three touchdowns and Dante Davis rushed for 147 yards and three scores as the Wolfpack (5-3, 3-2) crushed the Broncos (4-4, 2-3) in the CVC.
No. 17 River Valley 31, Yuba City 29 in Yuba City – Kyle Williams hit a 28-yard field goal with 1:26 left as the Falcons (7-2, 4-1) held off the Honkers (3-6, 3-2) in the annual Mayors Cup rivalry. Clarence Pierson scored four touchdowns for the Falcons, including a juggling 64-yard touchdown catch of a pass from Avery Gould, but Yuba City took a 29-28 lead in the Tri-County Conference game when Bailey Elkins threw a 34-yard touchdown pass to Maddox Bebout and the Honkers made the two-point conversion with 5:33 to play.
No. 19 Christian Brothers 27, El Camino 7 at Hughes Stadium – Braeden Bourke threw touchdown passes of 17 yards to David Simmons and 12 yards to Drue Goncalves, and rushed for a six-yard score as the Falcons (7-1, 3-0) topped the Eagles (5-3, 2-1) in the Capital Athletic League. Antoine Fleming returned a kickoff 81 yards for a score for El Camino.
No. 20 Capital Christian 55, Natomas 6 in Natomas – Tino Hutchins rushed for two touchdowns and caught a touchdown pass, D’marcus Ross returned an interception 69 yards for a touchdown and a kickoff 85 yards for a score, and Julian Leslie returned a kickoff 70 yards for a score to lead the Cougars (8-0, 4-0) past the Nighthawks (4-4, 1-3) in the Golden Empire League.
De La Salle 41, Del Oro 3 in Concord – Anthony Sweeney accounted for four touchdowns as De La Salle (7-1) rolled the Golden Eagles (2-6) in a nonleague game.
The Spartans forced two turnovers and had five sacks and limited Del Oro to 32 yards in the second half to improve to 11-0 all time against Sacramento-area teams and 7-0 since 2012. De La Salle has beaten Folsom twice, Del Oro three times, Jesuit and, earlier this season, Granite Bay. The Spartans are 28-0 all time against Sac-Joaquin Section teams.
Pleasant Grove 34, Davis 29 at Sheldon – Darren Chism scored on a four-yard run with 48 seconds to play in the Delta. Bobby Singh returned a kickoff 90 yards for a first-quarter touchdown for Pleasant Grove.
Kennedy 28, Laguna Creek 6 in Greenhaven – Seth Patterson rushed for two touchdowns, Terrell Barron Jr. for one, Sean Allison threw a touchdown pass to Xavier Alba, and Ramar Crump had four sacks as the Cougars (7-1, 4-1) topped the Cardinals (3-5, 2-3) in the Metropolitan Conference.
Rosemont 50, Galt 22 in Rosemont – Xavier Mitchell-Cook threw three touchdown passes, including an 85-yarder to Zach Lovato, and Gabriel Pridgen-Daniels had a 70-yard touchdown run as the Wolverines (5-3, 2-1) topped the Warriors (3-5, 0-3) in the Sierra Valley Conference.
Pioneer 20, Rio Linda 16 in Woodland – Elijah Fields threw a 27-yard scoring strike to Danny Byrd with 1:19 left to rally the Patriots (3-5, 2-2) past the Knights (1-7, 1-3) in the Tri-County Conference. Fields threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Chris Vidales in the first half and scored on a 13-yard run.
Woodland 27, River City 14 in West Sacramento – Garrick Smigelski had two interceptions in the final 1:17, returning one for a touchdown, and John Treat threw two touchdown passes, including an 82-yard strike to Truman Linney, as the Wolves (2-6, 1-3) defeated the Raiders (1-7, 0-4) in the Tri-County Conference.
Vista del Lago 56, Rio Americano 0 in Folsom – Brent Schaeffer threw three touchdown passes and rushed for a score and Adam King returned a blocked punt 30 yards for a score as the Eagles (6-2, 3-0) rolled past the Raiders (0-8, 0-3) in the Capital Athletic League.
Liberty Ranch 35, Union Mine 21 in Galt – Rick Van Houten and Devin Hardaway combined for scoring pass plays of 65 and 41 yards, Kamil Jones rushed for touchdowns of 44 and 13 yards, and Saul Lomeli returned a fumble recovery 37 yards for a touchdown to lead the Hawks (4-4, 3-0) over the Diamondbacks (5-3, 2-1) in the Sierra Valley Conference battle for first place.
Colfax 42, Center 35 in Antelope – Lukas Rineer’s one-yard plunge with 23 seconds left broke a 35-35 tie, and Jakob Nored’s sack on the game’s final play preserved a win by the Falcons (3-5, 1-2) over the Cougars (4-4, 0-3) in the PVL.