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Wildcats run wild in Saturday matinee

By: Cecil Conley, Sports Editor
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Mike Gimenez played on Saturday afternoons in his days as a quarterback at Colorado State. He would much rather stick to Friday nights as Whitney High School’s head football coach. A matinee was no problem for his Wildcats, however. Quarterback Jake Rodrigues and running back Isaiah Moore combined to lead Whitney to a 60-17 rout of Rio Americano in Sacramento. “This was a trap game,” Gimenez said. “Saturday’s not a great day to play on. We got out of our normal habits. You worry that the kids are not going to have a lot of energy and come out flat.” Rodrigues threw an interception on Whitney’s first possession, but the junior came back on the second with a 41-yard touchdown run. The Wildcats’ 7-0 lead did not last that long, however. The Raiders pulled ahead with Sylvester Grant’s 39-yard field goal and Zach Suarez’s 57-yard punt return for a touchdown. That was about all the noise Rio Americano made, except for its band. Two touchdown passes from Rodrigues to tight end Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick put Whitney in control. Jimmy Feyster then turned a screen pass into a 23-yard score to make it 28-9 at halftime. Rodrigues had two touchdown runs in the third quarter, including a 58-yarder, and Moore added a 15-yard scoring jaunt as the Wildcats pulled away. Moore added a 17-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter before the junior was replaced by sophomore Jordan Powell, who dashed 73 yards for Whitney’s final touchdown with 4:30 to play. Rio Americano’s weed-ridden field did not stop the Wildcats from running wild. Rodrigues gained 210 yards on 16 carries, his second 200-yard rushing performance in the past four weeks. Moore plowed for 134 yards on 19 carries. Whitney has introduced itself to the Capital Athletic League by scoring 115 points in winning its first two league games. The Wildcats are 4-3 overall with their first two-game winning streak this season. In the junior varsity game, Whitney fell to 1-1 in the CAL with a 27-7 loss. Ryan Giacomini’s fourth-quarter touchdown run was too little and too late for the 4-3 Wildcats.