Roseville shuts down Woodcreek
Roseville proved that a hungry defense can be an offense’s best friend in a 44-21 win over host Woodcreek in a Sierra Foothill League opener Friday night.
The Tigers stifled Woodcreek’s high-powered offense, allowing just 80 yards rushing, forcing two turnovers and keeping the Timberwolves out of rhythm for much of the night.
“We picked up our intensity,” Roseville senior linebacker McCory LeDesky said. “We took it to them and kept our motors running all night.”
When the defense got stops, senior quarterback Zac Cunha and senior running back Casey Lambert knew just what to do with it. Lambert gained 194 yards in 25 carries and scored the game’s first two touchdowns. It was his hard-charging runs that opened the passing game for Cunha, who completed 11 of 18 for 284 yards and four scores.
“They were trying to stack the box to stop Casey; I mean, I would, too,” Cunha said. “And that opened things downfield for our receivers.”
The Tigers (4-2, 1-0 SFL) asserted themselves early, scoring on a 59-yard Lambert burst up the middle.
With 5:20 remaining in the second quarter, Woodcreek (4-2, 0-1) held on fourth and goal from the 1-yard line, but on the first play of the ensuing possession, a fumble gave it right back to the Tigers, who punched it in with two Lambert runs.
LeDesky sacked Woodcreek senior quarterback Shaun Mize on the third play of the ensuing drive, and three plays later, Cunha hit Grady Allin for a 64-yard touchdown pass.
On the Timberwolves’ next drive, Mize hit junior receiver Stephen Nogosek for gains of 17 and 21 yards, and a Roseville personal foul set up the Timberwolves on the 6-yard line. Mize scrambled in on first and goal to put Woodcreek on the board with 44.2 seconds left.
Roseville’s offense took just three plays to go 69 yards on the final possession of the half. Two big passes to senior Cody Lindner took the Tigers to the Woodcreek 3, where Favio Torres drilled a 20-yard field goal with 1.2 seconds left.
After Woodcreek scored on just three plays to open the second half, the Tigers embarked on a nine-play, five-minute meat-grinder, punctuated by a 24-yard touchdown pass from Cunha to Lindner.
“They had a great game plan all around,” Woodcreek coach John Hildebrand said. “They were physical with their front seven, front eight on defense, and their offense did a heck of a job keeping the ball away from us. It was double-edged.”
Roseville is host to Rocklin next Friday, and Woodcreek plays at Granite Bay.
Roseville mauled Woodcreek 28-6 in the junior varsity game.
Roseville 44, Woodcreek 21
Roseville 7 17 7 13 — 44
Woodcreek 0 7 7 7 — 21
Rose — Lambert 59 run (Torres kick)
Rose — Lambert 1 run (Torres kick)
Rose — Allen 64 pass from Cunha (Torres kick)
Wood — Mize 6 run (Poon kick)
Rose — FG Torres 20
Wood — Lara 47 pass from Mize (Poon kick)
Rose — Lindner 24 pass from Cunha (Torres kick)
Rose — Allen 44 pass from Cunha (kick failed)
Rose — Lindner 8 pass from Cunha (Torres kick)
Wood — Wedman 1 run (Corbett kick)
RUSHING — Roseville, Lambert 25-194, Cunha 7-19, Jansen 5-31, Allin 2-17, Rubio 1-8. Woodcreek, Fernandez 13-49, Mize 4-8, Wedman 3-18, Beaber 3-5.
PASSING — Roseville, Cunha 11-18-0, 284. Woodcreek, Mize 9-15-1, 210.
RECEIVING — Roseville, Lindner 5-109, Allin 4-156, Butler 2-19. Woodcreek, Nogosek 3-87, Knapp 3-23, Lara 1-47, York 1-40, Rogers 1-13.