Placer moves to 4-0 with 43-point rout of Vista

Three-headed backfield monster runs the show again for Hillmen
By: Nick Pecoraro
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AUBURN– With the Gold Country Fair in full effect right around the corner from LeFebvre Stadium, Placer High put on its own exhibit Friday night against visiting Vista del Lago: Hillmen-brand football.



The Hillmen and their Wing-T offense continue to employ a revolving door of running backs that has been known to leaving opposing coaching staffs scratching heads.

Marshall Chapman carried a majority of the load for the Hillmen, rushing for 258 yards and four touchdowns in a 70-27 victory for the Hillmen, who remain unbeaten at 4-0 in 2018.


Over the first few weeks of the season, Chapman and Hans Grassman (99 yards, one TD) have stolen most of the headlines and rushing accolades for the Hillmen, but Brad Bishop reminded people not to forget about No. 3 for Placer.


Bishop provided three touchdowns while running for 156 yards.


“It’s a combination of the perfect storm,” said Placer head coach Joey Montoya. “It’s rare when you have weapons at every position…The offensive line that we have obviously makes it easier to be a play-caller.”


The Hillmen scored four first-quarter touchdowns and led, 28-7, after the first period. Placer, per usual, ran at will against a shorthanded Vista team, which called up what remained of a depleted JV squad earlier this season.


On the Hillmen’s first drive, Bishop capped an 85-yard march with a 58-yard touchdown run down the near sideline, giving Placer a 7-0 lead early.


Bishop punched in Placer’s next touchdown from 22 yards out after Jesus Castillo punched the ball out of Grant Roush’s grasp. Cornerback Jorge Maldonado jumped on the loose ball to give Placer new offensive life.


Chapman took a couple big runs down inside the Vista 1-yard line, where a couple plays later, he crossed the goal line, putting Placer up 21-0 by the 4:38 mark in the first quarter.


Vista quarterback Grant Patterson made some big plays for the young Eagles. He made nice reads, evaded the pass rush and found the open man, three times for scores. He probably would have had more if not for a number of dropped Eagle passes.


“Grant stands in there and makes tough throws when there’s guys all over him,” said Vista head coach Mike Struebing. “I’m really proud of his development. Last year, that was something he was not comfortable doing.”


Patterson threw three first-half touchdowns that gave Vista 20 points. He found Erik Johnson all alone in the end zone from 25 yards to get the Eagles on the board at the 3:45 mark of the first quarter. After Placer responded with a 34-yard TD hookup between Michael Stuck and Louis Fudge, Patterson fed Ryan Tung for a 15-yard score, making it 28-14, Hillmen.


Vista sophomore Zach Corbitt picked off Stuck in the second quarter – just the first interception thrown by Stuck all season. But Placer responded defensively with a pick of its own when Chandler Dakin intercepted Patterson at the Vista 45-yard line. On the very next play, Chapman scooted 45 yards to the house, making it 35-14, Hillmen.


Bishop scored his third rushing TD of the first half, this time from 50 yards with just over a minute left before the break. Vista answered when Patterson drove the Eagles 84 yards in one minute, finding Ethan Menezes for a 3-yard connection, cutting the deficit to 42-20 just before the half.


But the Hillmen would outscore the Eagles 28-7 in the second half to drop Vista to 1-3 on the season.


“That’s a very good football team over there,” said Struebing of Placer. “We have a tremendous amount of respect for Coach Montoya and how he prepares his boys.”


Placer has its fourth straight home game next week as the Hillmen welcome El Dorado (1-3)  while Vista travels to El Camino (1-3).


“There’s no better place to play football than LeFebvre Stadium,” Montoya said. “We play very well here.Our kids love the atmosphere that the crowd, the cheerleaders and the

community brings.”