Roseville, Woodcreek to clash
Roseville High School should have plenty of momentum after beating up on Oakland 41-8 Friday night, but this week’s opponent is different.
Woodcreek heads to Roseville for one of three anticipated Sierra Foothill League openers.
It will be a dramatic shift of competition for the Tigers – from winless Oakland to the Timberwolves under coach John Hildebrand. Woodcreek (4-1) defeated Whitney 52-35 Friday night.
Oakland wasn’t much of a contender. Roseville running back Casey Lambert rushed for five touchdowns before the end of the first half, matching his season total going into the game. Oakland had a case of the arm tackles and allowed Lambert to run for large gains.
Roseville coach Larry Cunha emphasized the importance of health. Many key players missed the game, including linemen Tim Mulligan and Zach Owens, linebacker Dominic Hernandez and team captain Alex Schwartz.
“We’ve got to get healthy,” Cunha said. “We’ve got 10 guys sitting out, and that’s the biggest thing. That is something beyond the field, but if we can get those guys back, we’re a little better football team.”
Roseville has had no trouble scoring points. The Tigers have scored 172, thanks to gaudy yardage totals. Lambert has rushed for 733 yards. Quarterback Nick Blaser has passed for 952 yards with 18 completions to Parker Daughhetee and 14 to Beau Smith.
But the defensive side is a different story, where they’ve allowed 155 points. Del Oro is the only SFL team to have allowed more points.
Lambert feels the rivalry is important, as the cross-town schools come together again. Woodcreek won last season 16-7.
“We’re going to practice hard,” Lambert said. “It’s a rivalry game, so we’re going to work very hard. It will be an intense game.”
Roseville will need to stop a strong Woodcreek running game that had 270 yards Friday. Blake Cervantes has 610 yards this season. The Tigers tightened up and allowed Oakland just 23 yards rushing.
“(Friday) is where we’ll find out just how good of a football team we are,” Cunha said.
Before routing Whitney, Woodcreek had a bye week to heal and work on basics, including ball security.
“The kids did a great job. You could actually see the boys late in runs getting two hands on (the ball) and covering up and stuff like that. I couldn’t be happier with the ball security,” Hildebrand said.
The Timberwolves are on a four-game roll after losing their opener to Lincoln 28-21.
“Roseville not only is a tremendous SFL opponent, it’s also a big cross-town rivalry for us so a lot comes with that,” Hildebrand said. “You want to get up for the SFL, but you’ve got to be careful sometimes not to get too hyped about the cross-town thing. Try to stay levelheaded and work on the basics, get better at what we need to get better at.”
Cervantes isn’t the only one pounding out yards for Woodcreek. J.J. Nourth is coming off a 92-yard, four-touchdown game against Whitney, including an 88-yard kickoff return.
Press Tribune Correspondent Kayla Nix contributed to this report.