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Another crack at Casa Roble

Placer eager for its chance to derail Rams’ 15-game win streak
By: Journal Sports Staff
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In years past, Placer High’s clash with Casa Roble tonight in Orangevale would have little meaning in the long term. After the Sac-Joaquin Section amended its playoff format, tonight’s battle between two undefeated squads has the feel of a playoff battle. “Every game counts now,” Placer coach Joey Montoya said. “This is a team we could see again if we’re both lucky enough to make the playoffs. They have goals to play for a state bowl game and continue their (15-game) winning streak. The fans are going to see a great football game.” The Hillmen could wind up in Division III or IV in the postseason depending on the other teams that qualify. They’ll get a taste of the class of Division III tonight. Casa Roble features a ferocious defense that’s given up just 13 points in two games this year. Senior Dillon Markau (6-2, 230 pounds) is one of the top linebackers in the Sacramento area. He’s joined by 200-pounders Clint Roberts and Justin Hayden in the defensive backfield. Safety Scott Patalano is a playmaker and the defensive line is loaded with big, athletic players. The offense may not be as explosive as last season, when the Rams went 13-0. But quarterback Justin Tann is efficient with the ball and running back Anthony Santiago is dangerous. Receivers D.J. Muses and Tommy Crosbie have two touchdowns apiece in Casa’s spread offense. Placer counters with its wing-T attack that confounded Woodcreek last week. Senior Asher Gotzmer rushed for four more touchdowns last week, giving him seven on the season. Junior quarterback Collin Burnett was 8-for-9 passing with 227 yards with one touchdown, adding another dimension to the Placer offense. The Hillmen will welcome back senior two-way lineman Jake Turney, who missed the first two games of the year with an abdominal injury. Left guard Ethan Halbert is also slated to return for Placer. Casa Roble handed the Hillmen a 42-27 defeat last season at Le Febvre Stadium. “They were 13-0 and we felt like we had a good battle with them last year,” Montoya said. “They’re one of the premier programs in the area. They play really hard and you can tell they’re confident as a team.” Franklin (2-0) at Del Oro (2-0) The Golden Eagles can finally settle into on their home turf, though the visitors will not be friendly. Coming off two impressive wins to open the season, Del Oro will play five straight in Loomis beginning with an upstart squad from Elk Grove. Franklin quarterback Derek McIntyre is a dual threat. The senior has thrown four touchdown passes and run for three more in Franklin’s wins over Sacred Heart Cathedral and Rodriguez. Devin Des Jarais (6-0, 190) is a dangerous receiver for the Wildcats, averaging more than 106 yards receiving in their first two games. Del Oro tailback Bryce Pratt is on a torrid pace. The senior has rushed for 516 yards and eight touchdowns in the Eagles’ wins over California of San Ramon and Cardinal Newman. The Eagles’ defense has also been stout. Linebackers Blake Landry and Derrick Luque have played well for a Del Oro unit that has shut down two explosive offenses. Del Oro is No. 8 in the CalHiSports.com NorCal open division rankings. Woodcreek (0-2) at Bear River (1-1) The Bruins are back at home to face a hungry Timberwolves’ squad. Bear River will focus on stopping Woodcreek’s shifty running back James Nunley, who rushed for 273 yards in a loss at Placer last Friday. Offense was tough to come by in Calaveras last Friday, where the Bruins pulled out a 9-0 win. Johnny Jewett scored the game’s lone touchdown, finishing with 85 yards on 17 carries. Senior linebacker Cole White is already up to 33 tackles through two games for Bear River. Cody Van Fossen is also playing well at rover for the Bruins. Union Mine (1-1) at Colfax (1-1) The Falcons look to rebound from a loss at Truckee against the talented Diamondbacks. Senior Pat Rawlins was held to 81 yards on 33 carries in the Falcons’ defeat while the Colfax passing game was inconsistent on the road. Union Mine is led by senior tailback Paden Gee, who is similar to Rawlins — small, but tough and quick. He’s rushed for 303 yards through two games. Foresthill (1-1) vs. Elliot Christian (0-2) at Galt The Wildfires pitched a shutout at Delhi last week. They face a team that struggled in losses to Delta and Turlock Christian. Golden Sierra (0-2) at El Dorado(0-2) The two longtime rivals will meet in Placerville, both seeking their first victory of the season. The Cougars were blown out by Union Mine and Ponderosa while the Grizzlies have fallen victim to Amador and Argonaut.