Woodcreek's Midgets, Jr. Midgets can't stop Jr. Thunder

By: Brett Ransford, Press Tribune Correspondent
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Under incredible heat Saturday, the Woodcreek Jr. Timberwolves took 3-of-5 games against visiting Rocklin in the Sierra Valley Division of the Sierra Youth Football Conference. After its younger squads set the bar high early, the Jr. Timberwolves Midgets fell 38-8 and the Jr. Midgets were smothered 23-0. The Woodcreek Mighty Mites knocked of Rocklin 28-7, the Jr. Pee Wees won 26-8 and the Pee Wees claimed a 14-0 verdict. It has been a tough run this season for Woodcreek’s older teams, which are both now 0-5. Woodcreek Midget running back Dylan Stacy had the only touchdown on an 80-yard run. Stacy broke out on the short pass from quarterback Nick Briggi. He had 129 total yards on three rushes and four receptions. “We just have to keep working,” said Woodcreek head coach Mike Craik. “We’re very inexperienced. We’re building running backs, quarterbacks and linebackers with confidence and work ethics. The goal is to build these kids into the high school program. Wins are good too though.” To their credit the Midgets played hard through all forty minutes, but could not overcome Rocklin’s experience factor. Brandon Powell dominated for the Jr. Thunder, scoring two touchdowns and rushing for 115 yards. Jack Dennis and Logan Locklear also stepped it up for Rocklin. Dennis caught two touchdown tosses, on a pass play he took for 40 yards and then a 17-yard route over his shoulder. He had 104 yards offensively. In Rocklin’s eight-minute fourth quarter drive, Locklear led his team from its own 35-yard line to the Woodcreek four. It took two plays to get into the end zone, but his coach made sure he got what he worked all game for. “Locklear’s a really good downhill runner,” said Rocklin coach Andy Brocchini. “I didn’t want to run the score up at the end but I just thought he deserved to get the ball a bunch of time and he was just able to pound it in.” “We ran a lot of leads,” Brocchini said. “Anything coming off of the line let the fullbacks just clean up all game. Our linemen dig a great job really stacking the box on the defense.” Other Woodcreek standouts were Devin Mick with six tackles and Austin McCarty as a fullback and a defensive wall. Though the Jr. Midget game looks bad on paper it was anything but a blowout. “I’ll take the way they played against the second best team in the league any day,” said Jr. Timberwolves President Jack Duran. The epitome of that team lies in its smallest player, Logan Runner. At just around 4-feet and weighing in Saturday at 86 pounds, Runner was easily the smallest on the field, but that doesn’t matter to him. He was relentless on tackles and didn’t miss one out of five big grabs to prevent yardage. “Pound for pound he’s the best tackle on the field,” said head coach Keith Biggers. “He’s a veteran and he’s instrumental to our team. His skill level is apparent in just how you see him play on the field. Once we get the rest of the kids motivated we hope to have our first win and do some scoring.” Quarterback Kelly Kerins had a tough day putting up with Rocklin’s Colin Hawkins. Kerins hardly passed the ball but used Dominic Baylon and Nofo Noa to hit the ground running. As a defensive tackle Hawkins had six sacks and caused a fumble recovered by his team in the second. He forced 35 yards lost to Woodcreek. On a play late in the third quarter Hawkins was brought in to run the ball for a fourth-and-long and met Runner in the open field. For all of Hawkins’ talent, he couldn’t get past the 86-pound heart of the Jr. Timberwolves team. Tailback Dylan Smethurst got it done offensively for the Jr. Thunder. He earned two of his team’s three touchdowns, one on an interception he ran back 20 yards and the other on a red zone push. Justin Hermann had another successful offensive game alongside Smethurst. He tacked on his team’s second touchdown on a push-through run in the second quarter. Elsewhere in the SYFC Midget Scores: Del Oro 14, American River 8. The two unbeaten teams are no more as the Golden Eagle Midgets outlasted the Jr. Raiders. Del Oro continues unbeaten at 5-0 having only eight points scored against it all season. Next week they’re at Oak Ridge (4-1) in another tough game. Folsom 36, Granite Bay 0. The Grizzlies dropped to 1-5 losing to the Jr. Bulldogs (4-1). Granite Bay is at Rocklin (3-2) next weekend. Oak Ridge 30, Roseville 0. It’s been a tough two weeks for the Jr. Tigers (1-4), being shutout 70-0 in their last three games. Next weekend pits an even game between two struggling teams as Roseville hosts 0-5 Woodcreek. Antelope 6, Oakmont 0. The Jr. Vikings are now 1-4 having lost the last two games by a margin of eight points combined. Oakmont hosts American River (4-1) next weekend. Also in the SYFC Three-way tie for first place in Jr. Midgets Roseville (4-1) handed Oak Ridge (4-1) its first loss, 14-6. Rocklin (4-1) steps up since stifling Woodcreek 23-0. Jr. Pee Wee race for second place Woodcreek’s 26-8 win over Rocklin raises it to 3-2. Del Oro (3-2) tightens the race for playoffs losing 33-6 to American River. Mighty Mites…Mighty Fights for first place As it stands four teams are tied at first place. Granite Bay (4-1) won 20-7 over Folsom (4-1), which suffered its first loss. Woodcreek’s 28-7 victory over Rocklin leaves its record at 4-1. Oak Ridge (4-1) bumped Roseville 13-7 dropping the Jr. Tigers to 3-2. In the Sierra Foothill Division The Whitney Pee Wee team (3-0) beat Foothill 13-12. The Jr. Wildcats play in Natomas (1-2) next week. Lincoln Jr. Pee Wees remain unbeaten at 3-0 following a 2-0 victory over Bear River (0-3). The Whitney Mighty Mites are also undefeated still at 3-0 after routing Foothill 26-0. The Jr. Wildcats Midgets (0-3) scored their first touchdown of the season losing 46-6 to Foothill (3-0).