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Rocklin defense prevails in Quarry Bowl III

Single touchdown decides contest
By: Josh Gutierrez/Placer Herald Correspondent
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Rocklin’s winning score came in the first half when Spencer Gregg hauled in a 17-yard pass from quarterback Logan Webb. The touchdown drive was aided by running back Patrick Ryan’s first down on a fourth-and-one. The Thunder had been outscored 51-28 in their first two contests. Adding to their troubles was the absence of starting quarterback Daniel Kniffin. Kniffin, expected back before league play, suffered a separated shoulder in last week’s loss to Oak Ridge. Webb led the Rocklin junior varsity to an 8-2 season last year, but lacked varsity experience. However, he played a crucial role on a fourth-and-two first down deep in Rocklin territory. His quarterback sneak virtually sealed the Wildcats’ fate. Benzel said the coaches had already made the decision to punt when Webb assured him he could pick up the first down. “The momentum and mental part of the game is huge,” Benzel said of the crucial first down. “It was a big momentum shift. They were stopping our run game and as soon as we got that first down, whoosh, the winds out and now we come all the way down to our red zone.” Rocklin then drove to Whitney’s 10-yard line, but missed a field goal from there. With a little over two minutes remaining the Thunder defense put their final stamp on the game. “We’re not a first half team, we’re not a second half team,” said senior-defensive lineman Sam Woods. “We’re 48 minutes. That’s just our defense; we never stop.” In the third quarter, Whitney pinned the Thunder deep in Rocklin territory. Twice they penetrated inside Rocklin’s 15-yard line only to be denied. Wildcats’ head coach Mike Gimenez said he decided against a field goal because of his team’s momentum. “We felt like we could get it in,” said Gimenez. “Our defense was playing great, we felt like we could get a three-and-out and a short field.” Gimenez’s belief in his defense was well grounded. The Wildcats’ had matched the Thunder blow for blow. After the game, Wildcats’ running-back Sutter Choisser received the Quarry Bowl sportsmanship trophy for 2012. Choisser’s 18-yard run was the longest rush of the game. Whitney (2-1) has a bye this week and will host Christian Brothers (3-0) Sept. 21. The Thunder will visit Del Campo (1-2) in Fair Oaks. Rocklin 6, Whitney 0 Wildcats 0 0 0 0 – 0 Thunder 0 6 0 0 – 6 2nd Quarter RH_Gregg 17 pass from Webb (Kick failed), 11:30 TEAM LEADERS PASSING – Whitney, Drew Romo 10-23-146. Rocklin, Logan Webb 6-13-105, TD RUSHING – Whitney, Sutter Choiser 16-69. Rocklin, Raymon Kendall 25-76. RECEIVING – Whitney, Cody Moffitt 3-46. Rocklin, Spencer Gregg, 2-51, TD Penalties - Whitney 6-55. Rocklin 6-63 (one player ejection). First Downs – Whitney 13, Rocklin 11. Team Totals - Whitney 243. Rocklin 194.