Friday, October 02, 2015

Robards (Elk Grove) 42, Grant 7

Week Five Scores:

Elk Grove 42, Grant 7
Franklin 24, Sheldon 7
Pleasant Grove 32, Monterey Trail 26
Cosumnes Oaks 28, Roseville 0
Kennedy 40, Valley 0
Bradshaw Christian 44, Vacaville Christian 0

In one of their most dominant halves of football ever played against a quality opponent, Elk Grove scored 35 points in the opening two quarters and handed Grant its first regular season loss in two years Friday night with a 42-7 Delta League victory.

And, in perhaps one of the best individual performances ever by a local football player, the Herd’s Ryan Robards scored all of his team’s touchdowns. Three were via rushing, along with 176 yards gained on 25 carries. Two more touchdowns were scored defensively – one on a 70-yard interception return for a score and the other a fumble recovery and return - and then Robards tacked on a 75-yard punt return for a TD.

“I told a couple kids (before the game) this was the time for me to prove the kind of football player I really am,” Robards said. “A big game like this, at Grant, I played well so I’ll take it.”

Robards, who was the center of numerous post-game interviews by scribes and television reporters from throughout the region afterwards, will add this performance to an impressive resume he’s already built this fall.
EG's Ryan Robards who scored six TD's in the Herd's 42-7 romp over Grant

In week two, he gained 277 yards on just 20 carries and scored three TD’s along with a receiving touchdown in a 41-14 win over Lincoln of Stockton. Plus, Robards had an interception and kicked a pair of field goals, including one for 51 yards.

In week three the senior three-sport athlete had 188 yards rushing on 16 carries and two TD’s in Elk Grove’s 48-14 win over Yuba City.  He also returned an interception for a score.

Then last week in the Herd’s 55-0 pasting of Davis, Robards had 200 yards rushing on just 15 carries with three TD’s and tacked on a 64-yard punt return for a score.

A beaming Chris Nixon didn’t hold back the accolades not only for Robards, but also for his club’s complete dominance over a team most thought was the best team in the Delta once again.

“It’s as dominate a half that I’ve been a part of at Elk Grove,” he said. “But it was strange in how it happened. (Offensive line coach Moe Loller) and I were looking at each other saying, ‘We have only nine or ten offensive plays in the first half.’ That’s what’s been going on with this team, scoring on defense, scoring on special teams.”

Equally as complimentary afterwards was Grant’s legendary coach Mike Alberghini.

“(Robards) is a hell of a player and that is a great team,” he said as he was shaking the hands of Steve Robards, Ryan’s father.

The elder Robards was honored by the compliment coming from a man who has seen and coached many great football players over the years.

“This was as good a half as I’ve ever seen one individual play,” Alberghini told him.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Follow Week 5 Football Here

While I am covering Elk Grove at Grant in the Delta League, follow that, plus other games right here.

Live Blog Live coverage: High school football Week 5

Monday, September 28, 2015

EG Sports Corner Now On Facebook

I don't know why I haven't done this earlier, but I have created an Elk Grove Sports Corner page on Facebook. There I have uploaded photos taken from the football games I've covered thus far this fall, plus photos from the Loren Roberts Girls' Golf Tournament on 8/3.

Take a look at that page  -- and in Facebook terms, "Like It!"

Friday, September 25, 2015

Monterey Trail, EG Win/Franklin, Sheldon Look Subpar In Delta Openers

Week Four Results:

Monterey Trail 35, Sheldon 14
Grant 27, Franklin 0
Elk Grove 55, Davis 0 
Cosumnes Oaks 35, Oakmont 6 
Laguna Creek 33, Valley 6
McClatchy 35, Florin 30

Pleasant Grove 43, Jesuit 9
Bradshaw Christian 50, Encina 12

In a game that game that Herbie Berry wanted to win very badly, the Sheldon Huskies opened the 2015 Delta League schedule by squandering several opportunities to score and ended up on the losing end of a 35-14 decision with Monterey Trail Friday.

“There were tremendous opportunities tonight,” Berry said. “The difference between us and them tonight was they executed and we didn’t.”

The Huskies had a great chance to open their season with three wins in the first four games for the first time since 2009. That year Sheldon actually won their first five games under coach Ed Lombardi. Instead the now-2-2 Huskies started the league slate under a cloud of questions about effort and consistency hovering over their program.

“The thing we need to fix is being more consistent,” Berry observed. “We were missing blocks on the inside, people are going in the wrong direction. They are smarter than that. We practiced better than that. They just aren’t accustomed to winning yet and that is something we just have to build.”
Sheldon coach Herbie Berry

On the opposite sidelines of the Sheldon/Pleasant Grove Community Stadium the Mustangs’ T.J. Ewing was beaming with pride for the way his club dominated the clock in the early going, jumped out to an early lead and held on the rest of the way.

“That was a big win because we had a lot of guys who were out,” Ewing said. “It was awesome because that was a total team win. I am just proud of all our players.”

Monterey Trail quarterback Robert Holt opened the scoring with a 77-yard run on the third play of the game. His pass to Neville Bood on the two-point conversion gave the Mustangs a 8-0 early lead.

They scored again on their next possession with Aztlan Lopez running in from the one-yard line.  A two-point conversion was no good and it was 14-0.

Sheldon QB Chance LaChapelle and (#21) Deante Grinner
Sheldon finally got jump started on a Chance LaChapelle to Norvell Meredith 30 yard pass that got the Huskies deep into Mustang territory midway through the second quarter. But, Aaron Ortiz missed a 37-yard field goal.

The Mustangs responded with Arnett Belton’s 55-yard TD run. With a two-point PAT, Monterey Trail lead, 22-0, with 5:13 left in the second quarter.

On the next possession, Sheldon gave up the ball on downs at the Monterey Trail 15. But the Huskies’ defense held the Mustangs, forcing a punt out of the end zone and took over at the Monterey Trail 31.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Follow Week Four Football HERE

I will be covering Monterey Trail at Sheldon in what could be a very good game. The big game locally will be Grant vs. Franklin at Cosumnes Oaks H.S. The Thundering Herd is hosting Davis. On Saturday, Pleasant Grove will be at Jesuit for a 1 p.m. kickoff.

If you can't go anywhere this Friday, then follow these and other games throughout the Section here:
Live Blog Live coverage: High school football Week 4

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

St. Francis Honors Player, Beats Davis

by Steven Shaff
St. Francis Ass't. A.D.

The St. Francis volleyball team was facing Davis Tuesday night in a volleyball match. But the hidden opponent was blood borne cancer.

Hosting a Blood Cancer Awareness Night in support of Troubadour junior Natalie Woodruff, who is fighting Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, the Troubies played one of the best matches of the season with a 25-17, 25-17, 25-16 Delta League win.

“The kids adore Natalie and they miss her,” said Head Coach Alynn Wright. “They really wanted to play well for her tonight. I think they did.”

Wood ruff was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in May and began receiving treatment in July. She is sitting out the season to fight the disease. She was joined by her parents and grandparents in a pregame prayer on the court.

“It was so much fun,” said Natalie after the game. “I felt back at SF and part of the community. I have always felt that but tonight made it feel really real.”

She is showing the same fight the Troubies showed against the Blue Devils Tuesday night.
“I am tired but other than that I doing really well,” said Woodruff. “I just got done with my fourth and hopefully final round of treatment,” said Woodruff. “I get my MRI and PET scan next week. If those are clear, I am done.”

Junior Bailey Avery said the team was inspired by Natalie’s appearance in the gym.

“I have been going to school with Natalie since the fourth grade,” said Avery. “When she was giving her speech, it made everyone really emotional and I started tearing up. It made every one play with more heart because it was for someone we know.”

St. Francis (7-8) got off to a good start, winning the first set. They continued without a letdown to sweep the match in three sets.

“We started off very well, the best start we have had all season,” said Wright. “We had a lot of best performances tonight by a number of kids on the team. It is starting to come together and I am excited about it.”

Both schools wore variations of lime green, the official color of the fight against blood cancer, from hair ribbons to shoe laces to special occasion jerseys for the St. Francis varsity team. Each varsity jersey had the name Woodruff across on the back.

“It feels awesome especially knowing we won for Natalie,” said Avery.

St. Francis swept the night with both the freshmen and junior varsity teams posting 2-0 wins.

Staff from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Greater Sacramento Area Chapter were present at the game, recognizing seniors Abby Fitzgerald, Sophie Huang and Mia Bonini for their fundraising efforts this past summer. Fitzgerald was named the Student of the Year by the organization.
St. Francis volleyball team prior to game vs. Davis Tuesday