Elk Grove 38, Reno (NV.) 7
Franklin 30, Clovis North 24
Antelope 28, Monterey Trail 0
Bradshaw Christian 61, Big Valley Christian 6
Rocklin 63, Pleasant Grove 14
Granite Bay 21, Jesuit 7
Grant 50, Burbank 14
Florin 30, Mira Loma 17
Laguna Creek 59, West Campus 0
Sheldon 13, Beyer 12
Folsom 27, Clayton Valley 26
Placer 43, Nevada Union 7
Elk Grove - To Chris Nixon defensive turnovers are like, well, rain in the middle of a California drought, or a Christmas gift delivered four months early.
Struggling with a big, physical Reno High School squad for the first half, the Thundering Herd turned three defensive turnovers and a 28-yard Ryan Robards punt return into 28 third-quarter points to run away from the Huskies, 38-7.
"Proud of our guys and how they responded in the second half," Nixon said. "I think we re-grouped at halftime and I think a lot of it is our intensity level and conditioning level we have."
Robards, the speedy senior who was switched this year to tailback, had 91 yards on 15 carries and a pair of TD's on top the key punt return along with kickoffs into the end zone all night. But in the fourth quarter Robards went down after a hit to his shin on the follow through of a 40-yard field goal that was good.
|Ryan Robards setting up for a 40-yard FG. He made the kick|
but was roughed by a Reno defender, injuring his shin
He spent the rest of the game on the bench with a pack of ice wrapped to the shin area. Fortunately, for the Herd, their most dynamic player will get a couple weeks to recover. Elk Grove has a bye next weekend.
"He's a guy who always comes out of these things with nicks, bruises and dings because he plays so hard," Nixon said. "And, usually Monday he's ready to go."
Reno scored on their first possession of the game driving 75 yards in 18 plays and three penalties to make it 7-0, Huskies. The drive took most of the first quarter.
"They are going to win a lot of games in Nevada," Nixon said. "They are a very good, physical football team."
Elk Grove's forced the first turnover of the game midway through the second period when Lau Ta'amu sacked the Reno quarterback forcing a fumble that was recovered by Tyrone Moore. Robards scored six plays later and the game was tied at seven at halftime.
On the third play of the third quarter linebacker Dylan Eldred picked off a pass and returned it 20 yards for the score.
Elk Grove forced Reno into a punt on the next possession and Robards returned the ball to the Huskies' 24-yard line. Julius Fullah scored four plays later to make it, 21-7, Elk Grove.
|EG Quarterback Jayden Machado calling signals. The center|
is Trevor Reinwald
Eldred intercepted another pass on the first play of the ensuing drive and Robards scored his second TD of the game four plays later and it was 28-7, Herd.
With a minute left in the third quarter, Jake Bellecci recovered a fumble at the Reno 35 and Gavin Reinwald scored on Elk Grove's next play to extend the Herd's lead to 35-7 after three quarters.
Elk Grove's next game is Sept. 11 at Lincoln High School in Stockton.
This is John Zehnder's 57th season running the game clock at Elk Grove football games. Of course, he is helped by his three sons, John Jr., Dan and Mike, who likewise have become fixtures in the press box Friday nights.
|John Zehnder, Sr.|
Zehnder remembered what got him started to volunteer at Herd football home games:
"Started in 1948. Elk Grove played in the Pig Bowl. I just got out of the service. After the game I told the coach they had only three downs in one series. 'No, no no,' he told me. They took pictures of the game and the coach called me and said, 'Son of a gun, you were right. We had only three downs and turned it over. From now on you take care of that chain gang. So, I was in the chain gang from 1948 until 1958."
He added that the 1998 Elk Grove team that featured Lance Briggs at linebacker and fullback and Ryan Dinwiddie at quarterback and placekicker was the best squad he saw in all those years.
Friday also marked public address announcer Ron Bieber's 39th year on the microphone at EGHS home games.