Roseville can't ground Eagles

Pleasant Grove firepower too much for Tigers
By: Robbie Enos, The Press Tribune
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The schedule got tougher for the Roseville High football team Friday night. After a season-opening loss to Rio Linda a week ago, the Tigers welcomed highly regarded Pleasant Grove to town this week, and the Eagles delivered a 39-15 win over the home team. Pleasant Grove quarterback Taylor Congdon led the way, completing 8-of-10 with 195 yards passing, and the Eagles ran up 499 total yards. Roseville's opening drive led to a 39-yard field goal by kicker Zach Tapia, but it was Pleasant Grove that reached the end zone first, when Congdon completed a 21-yard pass to Jalen Saunders. The Eagles started the second quarter with a 72-yard drive capped off by a Jonathan Bias touchdown and then scored again after a Roseville fumble. The Tiger defense struggled for answers against Pleasant Grove to start the second half, when an 80-yard drive and Jermaine Haliburton touchdown increased the deficit to 23 points. Roseville faced a fourth-and-goal with 17 yards to go on its next possession, but failed to convert, and then Congdon answered with another touchdown pass to Saunders, this one covering 61 yards. Roseville quarterback Nick Blaser threw for 236 yards and rushed for another 34. Bruising fullback Vladi Tkachenko led the rushing attack with 76 yards. Drew Tawlks was the big playmaker on defense, with eight tackles, but Roseville just could not make the big plays when they were needed. "Come tomorrow we're going to talk a little bit about making plays in the clutch, and not turning the ball over,” said Roseville coach Larry Cunha. “We improved upon some of the things for this week, but we still have things to improve on for next week." The Tiger offense came alive in the fourth quarter when a Blaser pitch to Tyler Renville went for a 4-yard touchdown, and Tkachenko scored from a yard out, but in between, Pleasant Grove responded with the big play, an 80-yard touchdown run by Laquwon Warr. Despite the two losses to open the season and the thought of another high-powered opponent (Nevada Union) cued up for next week, Cunha remains optimistic that his youngsters will turn the corner. "We're showing promise, we're just inconsistent right now,” Cunha said. “If we can get over that hump I think we'll be fine." Roseville will host Nevada Union next Friday night in its homecoming game. The junior varsity Tigers defeated Pleasant Grove 28-20 in a clutch win. Pleasant Grove made the score 28-20 after converting a 2-point conversion with 3:35 left in the game, but Roseville's solid rushing attack ate up the clock and sealed the victory. Running back Casey Lambert totaled 219 all-purpose yards and scored two touchdowns in the first quarter. Roseville's rushing attack gained 300 yards. Dominic Hernandez led the Tiger defense with seven tackles and one sack.