Cats claim CAL crown

Defense does it again
By: Jim Linsdau Placer Herald Sports Editor
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ANTELOPE _ The Whitney High School football team put their stamp of excellence on the 2011 season by defeating Antelope for the Capital Athletic League Championship, Friday night. The Wildcats took a 6-point lead in the first quarter, while the defense held the Titans scoreless through the first two quarters. Antelope than went up 7-6, before Whitney came back to put away the game for good. “The defense played awesome,” said Wildcats head coach Mike Gimenez. “They’re tackling a lot better, hitting harder, and putting a lot more emphasis on the point of attack.” Junior linebacker Matt Guerrero led the club with 10 tackles, Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick had eight, and Ian Bamsey, Thaddeus Cox, JT Hirsch, and Tyler Torres each had seven. Connor Graves had an interception, and Torres recovered two fumbles. Both teams relied heavily on their ground games on offense. Whitney totaled 244 rushing yards in the game; Antelope had 238. Wildcats’ quarterback Jake Rodrigues threw just eight passes, and completed four. Neither team had a passing touchdown. “We ran the ball pretty well, but the passing game needs to improve,” said Gimenez. “We didn’t have too good of field position, but we battled hard and played a tough game on the road.” Rodrigues ran for 104 yards on 17 carries and scored two touchdowns, Conner Graves got the call seven times and rolled up 94 yards. Graves broke one for 54 yards. “Jake (Rodrigues) made a couple of great plays and that gave us momentum,” said Gimenez. “Jalen (Cope-Fitzpatrick) made some great plays, and Jordan Powell. Those guys stepping up kind of gave us energy on offense.” It was Whitney’s third league championship, its first in the CAL. They took two titles while in the Pioneer Valley League. In 2007 the Wildcats and Colfax ended with identical 5-1 records, but the ‘Cats defeated the Falcons 10-7 in head-to-head competition. The Antelope win put Whitney into the Sac-Joaquin Section Playoffs as a No. 6 seed in Division III. They finished with a 5-0 record in league, and 8-2 overall. They will host 11-seed Pioneer this Friday. Antelope defeated Pioneer earlier in the season, 36-35. The Patriots went 3-2 in the Tri-County Conference, finishing behind both Woodland and Inderkum. Pioneer was 7-3 overall. “They’re really big and really physical,” said Gimenez of Pioneer, located in Woodland. “Playing at home gives us an extra edge, and we’re playing a lot better now than any point in the season. I like where we’re at, and we’re playing with confidence.” The game is scheduled for 7 p.m., Whitney High School Stadium, Friday. JV _ Whitney junior varsity quarterback Kyle McCray ran for two TDs, and threw for two more as the Wildcats defeated Antelope, 37-28. Whitney rushed for 247 yards in the contest, and added 91 more through the air. Also scoring were Tyler Slagle and Jason Brunet. Slagle scored twice on a run, and a pass reception. Bruent’s score was on the receiving end of a touchdown pass. The Wildcats finished the season 5-0 in league, 8-2 overall. Whitney 19, Antelope 7 See highlights at Produced by Wildcats Broadcasting Wildcats 6 0 13 0 – 19 Titans 0 0 7 0 – 7 PASSING Whitney – J Rodrigues 4-8, 84, C Graves 0-1. Antelope – N Lucero 7-17, 67, 0, 1. RUSHING Whitney – J Rodrigues 17-104, 2 S Choisser 6-48, J Powell 4-(-2), C Graves 7-94, 1. Antelope – N Lucero 2-8, B Casillas 14-66, J Crippes 1-0, J Watkins 1-4, M Vines 24-124, T Winston 6-36. RECEIVING Whitney – J Cope-Fitzpatrick 1-35, J Powell 1-30, C Graves 3-19. Antelope – N Golovko 2-43, M Vines 1-5, T Winston 4-17.