Footballs, flags fly at Placer

Hillmen show off a variety of weapons along with their physicality in flag football scrimmage
By: Todd Mordhorst Journal Sports Editor
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A handful of Placer High football fans got an appetizer Wednesday evening at Le Febvre Stadium before the feast of hard-hitting football to come in just a few short months. The Placer team split up into two evenly matched squads and staged the inaugural Hillmen Classic flag football game. The green-clad squad, led by returning quarterback Peter Denham and some impressive newcomers, toppled the Eddie Vanderdoes-led white team by a touchdown in a contest that included several heated moments. Head coach Joey Montoya and defensive coordinator Eric Rodarte put on the stripes and officiated the game, tossing a handful of flags for flag-pulling that looked more like tackling. ?It was pretty competitive,? said senior-to-be Jake Lewis, who was a force on the offensive and defensive lines for the green team. ?Me and a couple of other kids got into it. They were talking smack the whole time.? Tight end Stone Sander caught two long passes from Denham to spark drives for the green team. Fresh off the baseball diamond, sophomores Todd Valliere and Austin LeBleu were nearly as impressive on the football field. Valliere conjured up images of former Placer star Darren Centi with his shifty, speedy running ability and LeBleu showed a great burst with the ball. On defense, Terrell Ayala and Jalen Lewis were outstanding in the secondary. Both had interceptions. Isaac Brahce and Michael Robinson led the white team offense as both churned for big yardage in the hour-long affair. Juniors-to-be Hugo Lopez and Cameron Scott were also outstanding. Even in a flag football game it was tough to tone down the physicality of an exceptionally large Hillmen squad. ?It was tough because I like to hit people and knock them into the ground,? Jake Lewis said. At 6-3, 220 pounds Lewis isn?t small, until he lines up alongside Vanderdoes (6-4, 295) and Nate Duvall (6-3, 280). He can?t wait to join forces and see what happens when Placer puts on the pads in August. ?It?s fun going against each other, but I can?t wait until we can play on the same team again,? he said. ?It?s going to be fun.?