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Moore provides power in Whitney's offense

By: Cecil Conley, Sports Editor
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Slow and steady not only wins the race. That is the best description of Isaiah Moore as a running back. The Whitney High School junior is not going to run away from many defenders. The 6-foot, 200-pound Moore is more likely to knock a few on their fannies. Would-be tacklers should be forewarned. “I’m not the quickest guy,” Moore conceded. “I look for the hole and put my head down if I have to.” .Rio Americano’s defense must not have received the warning last Saturday. One Raider after another stepped in front of Moore, who made each one of them pay for deciding to get in his way. Moore ran through the Raiders for 134 yards on 19 carries in the Wildcats’ 60-17 victory. Cheering him on each step of the way was senior Shawn Azam, whom Moore has replaced in the backfield. “(Moore) sees the hole and it’s almost like he walks through it,” Azam said. “I don’t know how he does it.” Azam sat out Saturday with a hamstring injury. Moore has had his own hamstring issues this season. Wildcats head coach Mike Gimenez longs for the day when he can play the two together. And Gimenez is not alone. “We have a certain play where we have double backs, but we haven’t had a chance to do it,” Azam said. “We could run over people.” Azam’s absence has left Gimenez with Moore and sophomore Jordan Powell, who rushed for 145 yards on 19 carries against Christian Brothers on Sept. 24 after Azam’s hamstring called it a night. Gimenez would rather rely on Moore because Powell has his hands full as the starting safety on defense. Moore may never break loose for the big play, but Gimenez will take what he can get. “He doesn’t have to be fast,” Gimenez said. “I’ll take 4 or 5 yards every play. We know he can do it.” Moore had nine carries Oct. 1 against Woodcreek, then 12 in Whitney’s Capital League opener against Mira Loma. His 19 carries Saturday were three short of his career high set last season. More carries would have probably come Moore’s way against the Raiders had it not been for quarterback Jake Rodrigues also running wild. Rodrigues gained a career-high 210 yards on 16 carries. The 6-3, 210-pound Rodrigues is quicker than Moore but also packs a punch when he is running. Moore and Rodrigues were two of the four sophomores promoted to the varsity team by Gimenez in 2009. The experience they gained last season is beginning to pay dividends for the Wildcats. Powell is receiving the same opportunity this season. After Gimenez pulled his starters Saturday, Powell showed his speed by dashing 73 yards for Whitney’s eighth touchdown with 4:30 to play. “We’re blessed to have three good running backs,” Gimenez said. “I like all three of them.”