Hillmen run out of time, fall to Casa Roble
Coach Norm Ryan was hoping to relax and enjoy the final minute of his Casa Roble High football team’s game at Le Febvre Stadium Friday night. He should know better.
The Rams’ annual meeting with Placer again came down to the final play of the game. The Hillmen came up short this time, suffering a 41-33 loss. Placer knocked off Casa Roble 31-30 last year in Orangevale.
“I would have liked to have gotten a first down there and run the clock out,” Ryan said. “I might have had a little voice left.”
The two offensive juggernauts slugged it out for 48 minutes and the Hillmen were driving with a chance to tie the game in the final minute. But quarterback Collin Burnett’s final pass sailed out of the back of the end zone and the Rams escaped with a gratifying victory.
Placer senior Josh Turney rushed for 162 yards and three touchdowns on 23 carries. The Hillmen played without sophomore fullback Michael Robinson, who strained a muscle in practice Wednesday. Senior Zach Winegar was also sidelined with a possible torn chest muscle, leaving Placer without one of its top linemen.
The Rams’ Kyle Keith made the difference. He more than doubled his season rushing total as he gained 179 yards on 23 carries. Casa Roble quarterback Mitch Samson passed for 193 yards and added three short rushing TDs, including the decisive score with 7 minutes, 18 seconds left in the game.
Placer’s defense could not match the size and strength of the Rams’ offensive line, which opened big holes for Keith and kept Samson’s jersey clean all night.
“They did a phenomenal job with their offensive line tonight and their backs blocked hard,” Montoya said. “I still have all the confidence in the world in our defense. We just lost to a very good football team. They’re going to score points on everybody.”
The Hillmen were playing catch-up all game after a missed extra point on their first score. They trailed 21-12 at halftime. Each team scored two touchdowns in the third quarter and the Rams answered Placer’s early fourth-quarter TD with a quick 65-yard drive to go ahead 41-33. But senior Darren Centi atoned for his missed kick by blocking Casa’s ensuing PAT kick, giving the Hillmen hope.
Midway through the fourth quarter, Placer drove to the Rams’ 3-yard line, but gave the ball away on a fumble. The defense then stopped Casa on its next drive, setting up a dramatic final 1:18 of the game. The Hillmen drove to the Rams’ 14, but the clock ran out before they could punch it in.
“It was kind of like a track meet, back and forth,” Placer junior Joe Mangino, who rushed for 96 yards on 11 carries. “It’s better to lose now and learn from it than lose if we were to get to the section final. We’ve just got to respond from this next week against Woodland.”
Placer 49, Casa Roble 20 — Isaac Brahce rushed for four touchdowns, Tyler Lipsmeyer caught a touchdown pass from Casey Yunk and the quarterback ran one in himself as the Hillmen improved to 2-0-1 on the season.
Ryan Talley added a touchdown off of a blocked punt for the Hillmen. Jake Lewis and Tony Surverkropp had two sacks apiece to lead the defense.
Placer 40, Casa Roble 30 — The Hillmen improved to 2-1 with a big win Thursday.
Fullback Cameron Scott rushed for 190 yards and three touchdowns. Todd Valliere added two rushing TDs and Austin Lableu scored one. Kelton McDonald led the Placer defense along with Caleb Clement, Noah Daley and Lableu.