Woodcreek rolls past Pleasant Grove, improves to 4-0By: Cameron Salerno
ROSEVILLE– Grant Dinger; remember the name.
Dinger is a first-year player on the Woodcreek varsity team who plays linebacker and running back. Through the first four weeks of the season, he has made his impact known on both sides of the ball.
In the 49-14 Woodcreek victory over Pleasant Grove, Dinger rushed for three scores and picked up an interception on defense as well as a 20-yard fumble return to accumulate four touchdowns on the night. Dinger on the season has six rushing touchdowns through only four games.
“I thought Grant was the best player on the field tonight,” Woodcreek co-head coach Kyle Stowers confessed. “On both sides of the ball, he is becoming very confident and trusting into his abilities.”
Although Woodcreek picked up its fourth win in a row to start the season, the start of the game for Woodcreek was not how they drew it up. After forcing a turnover on the first drive, Woodcreek marched down the field inside the Pleasant Grove 30, and that’s when Woodcreek quarterback Carter Krupp had a route jumped and taken back to the house by Eagles’ senior Terrell Littlejohn. His interception put the Eagles up, 7-0, early, which made Woodcreek trail for the first time all season.
Woodcreek marched down the field and Krupp redeemed himself with a 39-yard touchdown strike to senior Matt Wilford. Dinger then found the end zone as the first quarter expired to take Woodcreek’s first lead of the game at 14-7. Two plays later, Dinger picked up a fumble and returned it 20 yards to the house.
“Coach (Hunkins) has been working me with the plays all week to get ready on the defensive side of the ball,” Dinger said. “It just helps a lot when you know what the play is going to be by the formation.”
Krupp later found 6-foot-8 senior Hudson Habermehl for a 5-yard touchdown score, and Dinger followed it up with a touchdown from 23 yards out to take a 35-7 lead into the locker room. However, it wouldn’t be Dinger’s last big play of the game.
“With us leading 35-7 at the half, I thought we came on strong to play a strong third quarter,” Stowers said. “Our defense played their tails off on both sides tonight and pitched a shutout all the way up until the third quarter.”
Krupp scored on a 36-yard quarterback keeper to open up the second half, and Dinger added a 79-yard touchdown later in the quarter, all in effort for Woodcreek to cruise past Pleasant Grove.
“I have been just trying to run hard the past few weeks,” Dinger said. “I just saw some holes in the defense, and my offensive line blocked well for me.”
The game was cut short with just over 11 minutes to play when Woodcreek junior Angelo Acia went down with a injury that prompted emergency services to take the field.
“We are concerned with Angelo, and we hope everything is OK with him,” Stowers said.
Additionally, early in the first quarter, Woodcreek senior Danny Castillo went down with a apparent shoulder injury.
“(Danny) is very important to our team,” Stowers said on the Castillo injury. “He will be back. He just got a little stinger. He is overall the heart and soul of our defense.”
Castillo is a captain for the Timberwolves as well as a leader on the defensive side of the ball. His presence will be needed when Woodcreek takes on their crosstown rival Roseville next Friday.
Roseville, who started the season 2-0, have lost two straight to Rio Americano and most recently Rio Linda, 64-25. Woodcreek and Roseville will play for the first time since 2013 Friday night in the newly named “Junction Bowl”.
“We are excited,” Stowers said on playing Roseville. “We are very happy to get that game back, and it should be a great atmosphere for our kids on Friday night.”