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Rocklin prevails in defensive Quarry Bowl to claim granite trophy

Single touchdown decides contest
By: Jim Linsdau Placer Herald Sports Editor
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With Whitney High coming into Rocklin Stadium at 2-0 Friday night, and scoring nearly 50 points a game it appeared the Quarry Bowl might be lightning in a bottle, but it turned out to be Thunder Road. Adding to Rocklin’s offensive troubles, starting quarterback Daniel Kniffin separated his shoulder in last week’s game and is out until probably mid-season. Kniffin had been a huge part of what little offense Rocklin had. But backup quarterback Logan Webb would come through in a big way to help give his club a 6-0 victory over the Wildcats. “He did a great job,” Thunder head coach Greg Benzel said. Rocklin’s winning score came on a 17-yard Webb to Spencer Gregg pass. Webb also picked up a huge first down in the fourth quarter that virtually sealed Whitney’s fate. On a fourth-and-two from the Thunder’s 25-yard line, Webb made good on his word that he could make the first down. Benzel said the coaches had already made the decision to punt when Webb assured Benzel he could do it. “The momentum and mental part of the game is huge,” Benzel said of that crucial first down. “It was a big momentum shift. They were stopping our run game and as soon as we get that first down, whoosh, the winds out and now we come all the way down into our red zone. Rocklin went on a sustained drive to the Wildcats’ 10-yard line. They would miss a field goal from there, but at that point the defense put their final stamp of dominance on the game with just over 2 minutes remaining in 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 appeared they would swing the momentum their way pinning the Thunder deep in their territory. Twice they penetrated inside Rocklin’s 15-yard line only to be denied a score. Wildcats head coach Michael Gimenez said on hindsight he could have gone for field goals, but the ‘Cats felt they were destined to score touchdowns. The Rocklin defense rose up for five sacks on Whitney quarterback Drew Romo, keeping him from breaking things open. Romo was 8-for-23 for 102 yards. However, in the second half he connected on only three aerials. Both clubs hammered the lines with strong running attacks, but the longest run of the night was 18 yards by the Wildcats’ Sutter Choisser. He also received the Quarry Bowl sportsmanship trophy for 2012. Rocklin senior running back returned to the lineup and made up for his absence by carrying the ball 24 times. He gained 67 yards on the night, Choisser 66 on 15 totes. Whitney hosts 2-0 Christian Brothers next week. The Falcons were scheduled to play McClatchy Saturday. The Thunder, finally on the winning side of the ledger, travel to Del Campo. Also at 1-2, the Cougars were defeated by Elk Grove Friday, 20-16. Rocklin 6, Whitney 0 Wildcats 0 0 0 0 – 0 Thunder 0 6 0 0 – 6 2nd Quarter Webb 17 pass to Spencer Gregg (kick failed) TEAM LEADERS PASSING _ Whitney, Drew Romo 8-23-102. Rocklin, Logan Webb 5-11-97, TD. RUSHING – Whitney, Sutter Choiser 15-66. Rocklin, Raymon Kendall 24-67. RECEIVING – Whitney, Cody Moffitt 3-45. Rocklin, Spencer Gregg, 2-48, TD. Penalties – Whitney 6-55. Rocklin 6-63 (one player ejection). First Downs – Whitney 13. Rocklin 11. Team Totals - Whitney 187. Rocklin 176.