Thunder prepare for Nevada Union

Cummings runs wild against Oak Ridge
By: Russ Edmondson The Placer Herald
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Rocklin High’s varsity football team, which topped visiting Oak Ridge 27-7 in its season opener, will play at Nevada Union in Grass Valley at 7:15 p.m. Friday. “They play tough at home and it will be a hostile crowd,” Rocklin coach Greg Benzel said. “But from what I saw (against Oak Ridge), I think we can go up there and have some success.” Nevada Union opened its season with a 15-14 victory at Ponderosa Friday as quarterback Broughan Jantz threw a 21-yard pass to Duncan Chapple with 3:36 left in the game. Jantz then ran in the 2-point conversion to give the Miners the lead. The Miners used a balanced rushing attack, gaining 204 yards on 45 carries with nobody carrying more than 12 times or rushing for more than 63 yards. “We have a very challenging schedule this year and we need to come to play every night,” Thunder junior running back Jackson Cummings said. Cummings scored all four touchdowns against Oak Ridge Friday. Cummings, who carried the ball 17 times for 148 yards and three touchdowns, also returned an interception about 55 yards for a touchdown to set the final margin with one minute left in the game. “It was a pretty good game – I had games like this as a freshman but this is the first one like this at varsity,” said Cummings, who has battled a groin injury in recent weeks. “It’s feeling pretty good. I kept pulling it and straining it but the time off (from practice) helped. “The most fun was looking up at the scoreboard after getting a ‘W’.” Cummings, who was also 3-for-3 on extra points, impressed Oak Ridge coach Eric Cavaliere with his ability at tailback. “He is a very talented runner and we overran him (in the first half) and he cut back – he has very good vision,” he said. “We’ve got a ways to go – we really showed our youth tonight . . . This is what we needed to make us better. We needed to play a physical team and this is a positive for us.” Thunder junior quarterback Tiger Sorenson completed 9-of-15 passes for 99 yards in his first varsity game. He spread the ball around as well, completing passes to seven players. Rocklin coach Greg Benzel says it didn’t feel like a 27-7 game. “The score indicates 27-7 but it was a draining game,” Benzel said. “It felt much closer than that. We had a tough time managing little injuries and I just want to get healthy.” One of the not so little injuries was to Rocklin senior offensive lineman Chad Weaver, who injured his shoulder in the first quarter and didn’t return. “It was draining but it was a big win and I’m proud of our guys,” Benzel said. “I think we won the physical battle. “And Jackson – his vision is so good and he sets up his blockers and accelerates and decelerates and he is a total running back. And he takes care of the football.” Cummings scored on an eight-yard run in the first quarter, a 25-yard run in the second and a 14-yard run in the third while his last score was on the interception return. “In the first half we were running and getting 10 yards after 10 yards and that credit goes to our offensive line and coaching staff,” Cummings said. Rocklin senior Eric D’amico intercepted two passes and recovered a fumble in the victory. Oak Ridge junior quarterback Myles Suchan completed 18-of-32 passes for 286 yards, three interceptions and one touchdown. Senior Oak Ridge receiver Brett Thompson, who will play on scholarship in college at BYU, caught 10 balls for 172 yards and scored on a 66-yard pass reception midway through the fourth quarter. Thompson’s touchdown cut Rocklin’s lead to 20-7. Junior Varsity Rocklin 28, Oak Ridge 21 Rocklin’s James Laughrea ran in two short touchdowns and threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Billy John Roberts. Christopher Lemos also had a touchdown run for Rocklin. Oak Ridge had a punt return for a touchdown by Nick Barnett and Ryan Adams and Will Tostenson both had rushing touchdowns in the loss. The game was tied 21-21 at halftime but Laughrea had a one-yard touchdown run with six minutes left in the game to break the tie.