Placer uses menacing running game to beat Rio Linda, 48-23

By: Erik LeTendre
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RIO LINDA– The night did not start ideally for the visiting Placer Hillmen as they fumbled and lost the ball on the return of the opening kickoff. However, this proved to be the lowest part of their night as they reconvened to take down the Rio Linda Knights, 48-23, Friday night on the road.

The Hillmen are now a resounding 2-0 in the Foothill Valley League, and Rio Linda falls to 1-1.

Early in the game, the score was 7-6 in favor of the Knights, but Placer was able to score 36 unanswered points over the rest of the half and much of the third quarter.

Running back Hans Grassman led a relentless running game for Placer, a matchup that proved way too much for the Knights’ defense to try and thwart. He rushed for over 100 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns in the first half alone, including their opening 30-yard score, which was succeeded by an equally impressive 20-yarder.

Just before the end of the first half, the Hillmen were able to churn out a quick, efficient 59-yard drive in under 40 seconds, capping the series off with a 25-yard strike from Michael Stuck to Ian Howes. This made it 34-7, a lead that only grew as the second half ensued.

An early third-quarter touchdown dive by Marshall Chapman was followed by a third Grassman touchdown to make the score 48-7, a testament to the strong overall play from Placer (7-0).

Placer was defensively capable of withholding Rio Linda from creating much rhythm on their own side. The Knights did what they could to establish any sort of run game but struggled to do much beyond the line of scrimmage.

A sporadic pair of big plays in the fourth quarter by Kyle Deloney-Spencer closed the gap a bit, but this came too late as Placer knelt down on their last drive to secure the victory.

Next, the undefeated Hillmen travel to Roseville to take on the Oakmont Vikings (3-3, 0-1). Rio Linda will head to Lincoln to take on the Zebras (3-3, 1-0).