Thunder top Skyline 42-19 to remain unbeaten

By: Russ Edmondson The Placer Herald
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Rocklin High’s varsity football team is 4-0 after Friday night’s 42-19 victory over visiting Skyline of Oakland. The Thunder led 35-7 at the half and rested their starters for most of the second half. Rocklin’s largest lead was 42-7 late in the third quarter. Rocklin will close its non-league schedule when it plays at Napa next Friday night. “This (being 4-0) feels great – it’s as many wins as we had last year,” said Thunder senior fullback/ linebacker Sean Moore. “(Napa) beat us last year on our homecoming and we want to be 5-0. Every game we’ve scored over 40 points and we want to keep that going too.” With Moore and the offensive line leading the way, Thunder senior running back Jackson Cummings had a huge first half before sitting out the second half against Skyline. Cummings rushed 17 times for 125 yards and four touchdowns in the opening half. He scored on a two-yard run in the first quarter before adding scoring runs of one yard, five yards and eight yards in the second quarter. “Jackson is amazing but Sean (Moore) is creating spaces to run – and not just in this game but in each game,” Rocklin coach Greg Benzel said. “He is really the only guy that goes both ways (the whole game) for us, the only full-time player. And he’s at the point of attack most of the game.” Moore loves celebrating Cummings’ touchdowns and that means he can be seen enjoying a lot of celebrations. There have been nine Cummings’ touchdowns in the last two games. “Every time Jackson scores I try to be the first one to congratulate him,” said Moore, who caught one pass for seven yards in the win. “And he always says ‘good job.’ And the O-line has been great too. “I take pride in (being a two-way starter) and I think the team does too. After games everyone comes up to me and says ‘good job Sean.’” Rocklin’s other first-half touchdown came on a 27-yard run from senior receiver Kyle Garvella. Quarterback Jimmy Laughrea handed off to Cummings on the play and Cummings then pitched the ball to Garvella. This score put Rocklin up 14-0 with 55 seconds left in the first quarter. Laughrea, a junior, scored Rocklin’s lone touchdown of the second half when he ran from seven yards out with 1:36 left in the third quarter. This put Rocklin up 42-7. Ryan Norris scored all three touchdowns for Skyline. He returned a kickoff about 80 yards to make it 21-7 in the second quarter and scored on a 63-yard run to make it 42-13 late in the third quarter. He also caught a 57-yard touchdown pass from John Landstrom to set the final score with 9:20 left in the fourth quarter. Norris finished the game with two caches for 70 yards and 10 rushes for 106 yards. Rocklin’s defense held the rest of the Titans to just three yards receiving and 27 yards rushing. Laughrea finished 4-of-9 passing for 43 yards and one interception while his touchdown was his only rush of the game. He didn’t attempt a pass in the second half. Junior Brian MacDonald (17 carries, 61 yards) and junior Cody Miller (four carries, 33 yards) carried the rushing load for Rocklin in the second half. Rocklin attempted just one pass over the final two quarters. “It’s nice when we execute and everybody gets a chance to play in the second half,” said Benzel, who wasn’t sure what to expect from Skyline. “What was difficult this week is we went in somewhat blind. We had some struggles with the film exchange and we were adjusting on the fly. We were almost making halftime adjustments in the first half.” Rocklin’s junior varsity team improved to 2-2 with Friday’s 49-0 victory over Skyline.