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Rocklin Midgets hand Jr. Tigers first loss

By: Brett Ransford, Press Tribune Correspondent
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For just the second time in the past two seasons, the Roseville Jr. Tigers Junior Midget team lost a game Saturday as the Rocklin Jr. Thunder took care of Roseville 19-0 at Rocklin High School. That win, combined with the 16-0 Rocklin win in the Midget contest made it a tough day for the Jr. Tigers. The Roseville Jr. Midgets (7-1 in 2008, 3-1 so far this year) saw the end of their unbeaten season as they dropped into a tie in the standings with Rocklin at 3-1. The Rocklin Pee Wees won 13-6 while Roseville took the Junior Pee Wee contest 12-6 and the Mighty Mites 19-6. In the Jr. Midget game, the scoreless first quarter blew by instantly. Rocklin scored its first points halfway through the second and its last eleven points in the third and fourth. The only time the Jr. Tigers were close to a score resulted in the highlight of the game for Rocklin. Down 16-0 in the fourth quarter, Roseville began a drive on Rocklin’s 25. After a pickup of 14 yards by Jacob Tarabetz, Roseville was at the tip of the 10-yard line when the Jr. Tigers fumbled. Dusty Howenstine of Rocklin recovered the ball and ran 65 yards up field, setting his team up first-and-ten at the Roseville 15. Jr. Thunder kicker Tarabetz poked one through for a 19-0 final with 7:20 left as neither team would score again. “Our kids played fantastic,” said Rocklin Head Coach Michael O’Rourke. “They really stepped up this week and pushed it into the end zone when we had to. They really came together as a team. I couldn’t be more proud of every single one of them.” “Our offensive line today did an outstanding job,” the coach added. “They won the game for us today. I’d like to name all of them individually, but I really think we have the best offensive line in the league this year.” It was not just their offensive line, but also the defensive line that came hungry to stay at the top of the Jr. Midget league. Kyle Powers, Arman Mizani and Colin Hawkins swallowed Roseville’s offense. Rocklin ended the game on back-to-back sacks. The first was delivered by Hawkins for a 15-yard loss, and the last by Mizani for an additional five. Along with Powers, the three defensive lineman shocked the Jr. Tigers for their first loss. “They were crashing up the middle pretty hard on us,” said Roseville Head Coach Dawayne Tuttle. “Towards the end of the second half we had some plays that were working, but we made a lot of mistakes. We drop a fumble and they score on it and we fumble at the 10-yard-line and they run it all the way back. Those things kill you, but do I think we would have won had those things not happened? Probably not, but it would have been a lot better of a game.” The most impressive score was by John Castle’s on a short five-yard hook pass outside the Roseville five-yard line. Quarterback Max O’Rourke hit Castle with the pass at about the seven-yard-line. Castle battled some contact before pushing for the last few yards and the touchdown. Dylan Smethhurst scored his team’s first touchdown in the second. From the goal line, Smethhurst dropped his head and ploughed through the defense. Garrett Kauppila ran for just under 100 yards for Rocklin. Justin Herrmann and quarterback O’Rourke teamed up well all game. Herrmann benefited from his quarterback’s focus on running the ball and running outlet passes to the backs. Elsewhere in the SYFC: The Del Oro Midgets (4-0) continued their perfect season reign after another dominating 30-0 victory, this time over Antelope (1-3). The Golden Eagles four-game total margin of victory has climbed to 134-0. Next Saturday D.O. heads to Rio Americano in the battle for a perfect season against the American River Raiders (4-0). This game is arguably a prelude to the Midget Championship game in November. Rocklin Midgets evened up their win-loss at 2-2 beating in beating Roseville. The Jr. Thunder hope to advance to 3-2 in their next game Saturday against the Woodcreek Jr. Timberwolves. For Woodcreek, it was another loss 14-8 this time in Folsom. Considering Folsom’s 3-1 record a six-point margin of loss provided a quality opportunity for a young team. The Oakmont games were pushed back a day to Sunday as Oak Ridge builds its new track. That extra day of rest made for a tight game. Oakmont Midgets lost the close one 20-18 and dropped to 1-3. The Jr. Vikings will play another Sunday game at Antelope next week. Both teams share a 1-3 record near the bottom of the standings. The Jr. Tiger Midgets fell to 1-3 after their loss to Rocklin. It doesn’t get any easier for Roseville next Saturday against 3-1 Oak Ridge in El Dorado Hills. Head Coach Lonnie Smith said his team just isn’t playing that well. “Unfortunately it’s not just one person that makes a team,” Smith said. “We try to preach that you practice like you play and we haven’t practiced well either.” The Jr. Grizzly Midgets share a 1-3 record with Oakmont and Antelope after losing big 52-14 to American River. Granite Bay has another tough game next Saturday as it hosts Folsom. The Jr. Grizzlies only won two games last year and this season doesn’t look much better. Their schedule has them playing Folsom (3-1) then Rocklin (2-2), Oak Ridge (3-1) and a chance to win against Oakmont in mid-October before their last game against Roseville (3-1). Also in the SYFC: Roseville Jr. Midgets now 3-1 after losing to Rocklin take on the only undefeated Jr. Midget team in Oak Ridge (4-0) next Saturday. Granite Bay Mighty Mites advance to 3-1 concluding a 19-6 victory over American River. Next the Jr. Grizzlies take on unbeaten Folsom (4-0) in what may decide who makes the playoffs as four teams are tied at 3-1 records. Jr. Pee Wee Golden Eagles (3-1) lost a tough 7-6 game to Antelope (3-1). Next week’s game at American River (4-0) will be a big one the Del Oro Jr. Pee Wees.