Rocklin High School’s offense was like a ticking time bomb Friday night. It was always just moments away from exploding with a big play. And that bomb burst quite a bit.
The Thunder defeated host Woodcreek 42-17, thanks in large part to three touchdown connections from Logan Webb to Dominic Giampaoli for 82, 62 and 71 yards. Two came on receiver screens where fellow receivers Daniel Kniffin and Corey Burmester set key blocks.
“The plays weren’t necessarily designed for me to get it,” Giampaoli said. “It was just a coverage breakdown, and I was lucky enough to slip out the back.”
Kniffin caught a 57-yard touchdown pass, and Webb threw for 370 yards.
Rocklin’s defense got the job done as well, holding the Timberwolves to 56 yards rushing.
Rocklin head coach Greg Benzel actually expected a more wide-open attack from Woodcreek, but after getting a steady dose of inside runs, the Thunder defense was happily surprised.
“We were preparing for them to be in empty sets,” Benzel said. “And they came out and ran the ball, which is a little bit more to our strength. That helped us.”
Woodcreek junior Mitchell Layton took the opening kickoff 99 yards into the end zone, then the Timberwolves took Rocklin by surprise and recovered an onside kick. But after several stops by the Thunder, Kniffin’s touchdown reception built the momentum that would carry the team to victory.
“We’re just going to keep competing our tail off,” Woodcreek head coach John Hildebrand said. “We need to get better every day. There’s some things we did better this week than we’ve done in the last couple weeks.”
Rocklin (4-4 overall, 2-1 SFL), seeking a Sac-Joaquin Section playoff berth, finishes the regular season against Roseville and Del Oro.
“It’s hard after an emotional loss to Granite Bay when we played our tails off,” Benzel said. “Now they’ve learned the lesson. Now they can go into Roseville and say, ‘Hey, let’s get it done’. We go one week at a time.”
Woodcreek finishes against Granite Bay and Roseville.
Rocklin 35, Woodcreek 23 — The consistent Thunder offense scored five touchdowns, three on the ground and two through the air, as they took care of Woodcreek. Dylan Smethurst of Rocklin rushed for two scores.
ROCKLIN 42, WOODCREEK 17
Rocklin 14 7 14 7 — 42
Woodcreek 7 3 0 7 — 17
Wood — Layton 99 kickoff return (Nogosek kick)
Rock — Kniffin 57 pass from Webb (Mook kick)
Rock — Giampaoli 82 pass from Webb (Mook kick)
Wood — FG Nogosek 17
Rock — Giampaoli 62 pass from Webb (Mook kick)
Rock — Giampaoli 71 pass from Webb (Mook kick)
Rock — Gonzalez 1 run (Mook kick)
Wood — Fernandez 15 run (Nogosek kick)
Rock — Williams 1 run (Mook kick)
RUSHING — Rocklin, Williams 8-23, Gonzalez 5-24, Webb 5-16, Kniffin 1-69. Woodcreek, Layton 16-18, Fernandez 6-43, Nogosek 6-minus 2, Phagura 2-2, Shurtz 2-1, Zumaran 1-1, Trujillo 1-minus 7.
PASSING — Rocklin, Webb 17-27-1, 370; Kniffin 1-1-0, 16. Woodcreek, Nogosek 11-29-0, 185.
RECEIVING — Rocklin, Giampaoli 6-143, Burmester 6-46, Kniffin 4-82, Gregg 2-33. Woodcreek, York 5-105, Torres 3-28, Robinson 2-29, Layton 1-23.