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Jr. Tigers lock up spot in postseason tournament

Youth football playoffs open Saturday at four sites
By: Brett Ransford, Press Tribune Correspondent
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Eliminating the need to be involved in complicated tiebreaker scenarios, the Roseville Jr. Tigers took care of business Saturday with a 40-0 road win over Granite Bay. The victory in the regular season finale guarantees the Jr. Tiger Jr. Midgets a spot in the Sierra Youth Football postseason derby. For the day, the Roseville program took 4-of-5 contests from their Granite Bay neighbors. The Jr. Tigers advance both the Jr. Midgets (7-2 league) and the Mighty Mites (6-3 league) to the playoffs, while the Jr. Grizzly Jr. Pee Wees (6-3 league) are the only Granite Bay team headed to the tournament. Prior to the start of the Jr. Midget game Roseville Head Coach Dawayne Tuttle was aware of possible four-way tie for second place. Forgoing the anxiety of a coin toss to determine playoff positioning, the Roseville Jr. Midgets did the job on the field. “They played a good game and they played physical,” Tuttle said. “We have four pretty big backs and any one of them can make it happen. We played nine games to get to this point and six other teams are going home and we’re not. We’re looking forward to playoffs. It doesn’t really matter who we play.” Roseville got started early taking the lead at 8-0 and never looking back, as the Jr. Tigers’ four backs proved too much for Granite Bay to handle. In the first quarter Nick Bambino crashed the defense for the one-yard touchdown. Bambino also scored his second and Roseville’s last touchdown on a 10-yard push for the final 40-0 score. He was met at the goal line by a Grizzly defender but Bambino absorbed the hit for the score. Bambino finished with 11 carries for 56 yards and two touchdowns. Jonathan Tuttle also scored two touchdowns. He finished Roseville’s drive from their 37-yard line with 23 yards rushing and the short touchdown. The offensive highlight of the game was Tuttle’s 65-yard touchdown streak. It only took one move cutting to the left for Tuttle to reach the open sideline. He finished the game with six carries for 96 yards and two touchdowns. He also led the team with five tackles. Shea O’Harra added 46 yards on seven carries with a touchdown. He topped off a 66-yard drive with a four-yard score for Roseville’s second touchdown. Completing the four-way rushing game of the Jr. Tigers was Jacob Tarabetz with six carries for 45 yards and a touchdown. His score came on a three-yard smash through the Grizzly defense at 28-0 in the third quarter. The Jr. Grizzlies end their season at 2-7 and scored just 45 points all season while their defense allowed 191. Head coach Rich Sutch ends the season accomplishing what he said are some good football lessons for his team. “These boys will grow up a little bit,” said Sutch. “It’s a good life lesson too. You don’t always win. If you look over the years at this program, by the time they get to the high school level they know how to play some football. I’ll miss the football now that the season is over. Come Monday I’m sure I’ll be ready for practice and wondering where my boys are. We had a tough season, but at the end of the season we taught these boys a lot of good football.” The first round of the 2009 SYFC Sierra Valley Division playoffs couldn’t be more exciting at the Jr. Midget level. Roseville (7-2) will be the visiting team against Rocklin (7-2) next Saturday at Oakmont. Rocklin has the advantage of winning their regular season meeting in Week 4 when the Jr. Tigers fell 16-0 in their first loss of the season at Rocklin. The Jr. Thunder finished the season scoring considerably fewer points than Roseville with 169. The Jr. Tigers led the league in points scored with 216 and were second to Rocklin in points allowed as they gave up just 39. The Thunder yielded just 26 points in nine games. FYI: Saturday SYFC playoff games At Oakmont 9 a.m. – Folsom vs. Roseville Mighty Mites 11 a.m. – Del Oro vs. Granite Bay Jr. Pee Wees 1 p.m. – American River vs. Del Oro Pee Wees 3 p.m. – Rocklin vs. Roseville Jr. Midgets 5 p.m. – Del Oro vs. Folsom Midgets At Oak Ridge 9 a.m. – Woodcreek vs. Oak Ridge Mighty Mites 11 a.m. – American River vs. Woodcreek Jr. Pee Wees 1 p.m. – Folsom vs. Oak Ridge Pee Wees 3 p.m. – Folsom vs. Oak Ridge Jr. Midgets 5 p.m. – American River vs. Oak Ridge Midgets