Redskins hope to keep Hillmen away from end zone

Prep Football Playoffs
By: Todd Mordhorst, Journal Sports Editor
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Calaveras High football coach Jason Weatherby realizes Placer’s made a habit of turning close games into blowouts in the blink of an eye this fall. “We have to limit their big plays,” Weatherby said. Many have tried and most have failed. The Hillmen (10-1) are averaging nearly 450 yards of offense per game and have put up 59 touchdowns this season. Senior Asher Gotzmer went over the 1,300-yard rushing mark last week and scored his 25th touchdown of the season. Junior fullback Josh Turney has found the end zone 17 times and senior receiver Cameron Southward has seven TDs. Junior quarterback Collin Burnett is averaging over 28 yards per completion with 15 touchdowns and just three interceptions. Placer took the field on Thanksgiving morning for its final tuneup before tonight’s Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV quarterfinal game against the Redskins. “Practicing on Thanksgiving is always a goal for us and we were fortunate to do that again this year,” Montoya said. “We’re out of school this week but we’ve essentially kept the same schedule with just a few minor adjustments.” Calaveras (7-4) wasn’t expected to be playing on Thanksgiving weekend. But a first-round upset of Dixon sent the Redskins to Auburn. Calaveras is battle-tested after finishing second in the Mother Lode League to Summerville, which will face Central Catholic in another Division IV quarterfinal tonight. Senior Jake Fischer is the power runner in Calaveras’ fly offense while junior Monti Wilson provides the speed and quickness. “They’re very physical,” Montoya said of the Redskins. “They play very hard on both sides of the ball. They have two very good backs. They definitely present some challenges.” The Calaveras defense is small, but well-coached and disciplined. The Redskins haven’t given up more than two touchdowns in their last three games. Senior Gary Gellerman anchors the defense for the Redskins. The 6-2, 215-pound linebacker has racked up 146 tackles on the season and is the emotional leader for the Calaveras squad. Josh Klem is the leader of a Placer defense that has been stellar in recent weeks. The senior linebacker has a team-high 89 tackles. Conner McKenzie, Brett Lenz and Michael Gray are also standouts on the defensive side.