Hillmen regroup for Homecoming

Prep Football Primer
By: Todd Mordhorst Journal Sports Editor
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There’s no denying the pain the Placer High football players felt last Friday night as their Pioneer Valley League championship hopes took a major hit with a double-overtime loss at Colfax.
“This one hurt bad,” coach Joey Montoya said, “but kids are resilient. They’ve responded perfectly. We challenged them Monday and challenged ourselves as coaches and our kids have really been focused this week.”
The Hillmen (2-1 PVL, 6-2 overall) will look to regroup with a pair of home games to end the regular season, including tonight’s homecoming game against Center.
The Cougars (0-3, 1-7) have received a rude welcome to the PVL and the Hillmen don’t plan on taking them lightly tonight.
“I was really impressed with the way they played Bear River,” Montoya said. “They’ve got a good back and a good quarterback. But the focus this week was not so much on Center, but on ourselves. We found out the hard way that we’ve got some things to work on.”
Placer has several key players hurting this week, including senior tailback Josh Turney, whom Montoya said is a game-time decision. Montoya said Turney did not sustain a concussion in the Colfax game, but he had a headache Saturday, so the coaching staff has taken extra precautions this week.
Sophomore fullback Michael Robinson is still hurting from an ankle injury and will play limited minutes while senior linebacker Caleb Mitchell is nursing a strained groin.
Juniors Will Slane, Brad Spangler and Joe Mangino are slated to start in the backfield for the Hillmen.
“That’s the nice thing about having depth,” Montoya said.
Del Oro (4-4) at Roseville (6-2)
Just three weeks ago they were struggling at 2-4, but the Golden Eagles are suddenly in the race for the Sierra Foothill League title after dramatic wins over Nevada Union and Granite Bay.
Del Oro faces another serious road test against the Tigers, who are alone in first place at 3-0 in the SFL. Junior Casey Lambert is averaging more than 150 rushing yards per game to lead a balanced Roseville offense. Senior quarterback Nick Blaser has thrown for 12 touchdowns and more than 1,500 yards.
The Eagles’ outscored Granite Bay 17-0 in the fourth quarter to win last week.
“Since league started our effort and attention to detail have been better,” Del Oro coach Casey Taylor said. “We’ve had a lot of injuries, ups and downs and there has been a lot of doubt about us so for them to fight through it shows a lot.”
Colfax (6-2) at Lincoln (5-3)
The Falcons are all alone atop the Pioneer Valley League, but two hurdles remain before they can celebrate. The Zebras are hurting after losses to Placer and Bear River dropped them to 1-2 in league play.
Colfax will look to shut down Lincoln’s wing-T offense after limiting Placer’s attack to 222 total yards last week. The Falcons’ offense has been efficient with junior Austin Young making major strides at quarterback. He threw two touchdown passes against the Hillmen.
Lincoln features dangerous running backs in Oscar Fernandez and Isaac Allen.

Foothill (3-5) at Bear River (5-3)
The Bruins can improve to 3-1 in the PVL with a victory and set up a big regular season finale at Colfax on Nov. 5.
Bear River beat Lincoln 35-21 last week thanks to a big game from receiver Brandon Wooner and a stellar defensive game. Michael Mascari had two sacks and recovered a fumble and the Bruins held the Zebras to just 104 rushing yards on the night.

Foresthill (5-3) at Woodland Christian ( 2-6)
After clinching a playoff berth with a big win last Friday, the Wildfires take on the Cardinals, whom they crushed 41-7 earlier this season.
Foresthill still has a shot at the Sacramento Metro Athetic League title. The Wildfires need to beat Woodland Christian, then take down Delta in the regular season finale Nov. 5 in Foresthill.