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Football’s first helping is served up tonight

Prep Football: Week 0
By: Todd Mordhorst Journal Sports Editor
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Like a hard-charging linebacker, the high school football season is closing in and the blitz will be on tonight with four local varsity teams in action and one intriguing freshman contest on the schedule.
Del Oro, Colfax and Foresthill will kick off their 2011 campaigns at home. Bear River will face Cordova on the road and the Placer freshmen will renew a rich rivalry with Del Oro in Le Febvre Stadium while the Hillmen varsity squad waits until next week’s all-out football feast to begin the season.
Here’s a closer look at what is in store for tonight:
Spanish Springs at Del Oro
Del Oro’s appetizer before the Battle at the Capital next weekend is Spanish Springs. The Cougars have steadily improved under coach Scott Hare over the past six seasons. He told the Daily Sparks Tribune earlier this week that this is the best team he’s coached in 11 seasons in the business.
The Golden Eagles’ defense will be tested by a Spanish Springs’ physical line and big, strong running back Conrad Tanyi.
Del Oro’s rushing attack has plenty of weapons. Senior Nick O’Sullivan isn’t afraid to lower his shoulders while junior Brandon Monroe is a jet in the open field. Look for receiver Russell Smith to have an impact catching the ball, and on special teams.
El Camino at Colfax
Up in Colfax, the ball should be flying all over Marson Stadium when the Falcons host El Camino. Senior quarterback Austin Young is poised for a big season after earning all-Pioneer Valley League honors and leading the Falcons to a league title last fall.
The Eagles’ passing game is dangerous as well. Senior receiver Demetrius Kuwabara is explosive and junior Jonah Lessard will look for him often. Running back Will McGehee could be a key for El Camino.
The Falcons will look to senior playmakers Shawn Rawlins and David Mowbray to lead the way on offense. Seniors Roger Lillie, Matthew Anglade and Nolan Karbowski lead a defense that was stingy last year.
Bear River at Cordova
Bear River is eager to get on the field this fall as it combines two junior varsity teams that were undefeated. The Bruins open at Cordova, which has struggled in recent seasons, but should provide a good test.
The Lancers feature quarterback Mike Hicks, who torched the Bruins for four passing touchdowns last year. Hicks is tough to contain with his crafty scrambling.
“Defensively, our No. 1 goal is to keep their excellent QB in the pocket,” Bear River co-coach Terry Logue said. “He killed us last year. We can’t simulate that kind of speed at quarterback in practice. Last year we outscored them and hopefully we’ll do a better job this time.”
The Bruins will debut a new-look offense with third-year quarterback James Harris in the shotgun formation. Look for tight end Brandon Wooner and receiver Harley Sauers to have a big impact in the revamped passing game. Josh Toft is coming off an excellent junior year at running back and should find some nice holes courtesy of a tough offensive line.
Marysville at Foresthill
Foresthill is stepping out of its division to host Marysville in its opener. The Wildfires have just 23 players on the varsity roster, but coach Jim Herlehy is excited about the talent all over the field.
Foresthill will have to deal with Marysville star Cole Hannum. The 6-1, 210-pound junior rushed for well over 1,000 yards as a sophomore last season, including 148 in a 41-12 victory over the Wildfires.
The Wildfires’ new pistol-style offense will feature quarterback Tommy Sawyer and a deep receiving corps led by Ian Sykes.
“It’s going to come down to, ‘Can we block them if they rush six guys?’” Herlehy said.
On defense, safety Nick Gleason and nose tackle Jordan Boyer are leaders for Foresthill.

On the air: Del Oro vs. Spanish Springs, 7:30 on KAHI 950 AM.

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