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Varsity Wins Shoot-Out Over Nevada Union 52-49

Varsity vs Nevada Union HS on 10/29/2010 7:30:00 PM
Posted Saturday, October 30, 2010 by The Union.com

Home loss to Woodcreek seals Nevada Union's playoff fate

Fighting back and forth like two teams playing for their playoff lives, Nevada Union and Woodcreek were not going to be stopped Friday night in Sierra Foothill League play.

And truth be told, neither team was stopped.

But in an SFL slugfest that featured a combined 1,147 yards of total offense, it was Woodcreek who had the final answer with a 52-49 win over the Miners at Hooper Stadium.

Dylan Zuverink's 51-yard punt return for a touchdown with 8:32 to go in the game gave Woodcreek the cushion — a 52-42 margin — it would need down the stretch to hold off the Miners.

The return was Zuverink's third return of the night for a score, also returning a kick for a 98-yard touchdown and an interception 48 yards for a TD. Zuverink, a senior safety, also recovered a fumble on the night.

Turnovers took a toll on the Miners in the first half, as pair of Devyn Grimes fumbles and a interception thrown by Josiah Paye helped the Miners dig a 10-point hole at halftime.

But back Nevada Union came in the second half, posting 28 points in the third quarter thanks largely to a ground game that would not be stopped. Connor Keith had two third-quarter touchdown runs, while Paye hit Jake Hofheinz for a 34-yard touchdown pass and later broke off a 75-yard run down the right sideline for a touchdown that put NU up 42-38 with 1:12 to go in the third quarter.

That play, however, was also the last one NU coach Dave Humphers would see firsthand on the night.

During Paye's touchdown run, an official threw a flag on Nevada Union's sideline after colliding with a coach. It was the second flag on NU's bench of the half, the first being an unsportsmanlike call for delay of game at the start of the second half. The second flag resulted in Humphers' ejection.

Woodcreek (5-4 overall, 1-3 SFL) answered with a two-yard touchdown run by J.J. Nourth and then Zuverink's punt return for a score gave the T'wolves the 10-point cushion.

NU (4-5, 0-4) answered when Paye hit senior Brock Kraus on a 44-yard play-action post pattern to the Woodcreek one-yard line. Tanner Vallejo spilled into the end zone for a 52-49 score with 5:10 to go.

Woodcreek managed to run out the clock on its final possession to secure its first SFL win of the season and keep its playoff hopes alive, while dashing those of Nevada Union. To be eligible for the postseason, a team must have at least two league victories, but the Miners will still be seeking their first SFL win when Rocklin comes to town next week.

NU had three backs break the century mark in rushing yards, as Keith totaled 173 yards, Grimes gained 125 and Gabe Humphers added 110 more. Paye rushed for 83 yards on the night, while passing for 117 more.

For Woodcreek, Nourth had 207 yards on the ground, while Cervantes came through with 166 more. Mize ran for 26 yards and also threw for 128.

Additional notes from the Press Tribune:

“It feels fantastic for us,” Woodcreek coach John Hildebrand said. “We never stopped for a minute believing we’re not with the rest of the teams in the league. It takes a lot to go on the road against an opponent we’ve never faced, and I couldn’t be more proud of them.”

Several players produced big plays for the Timberwolves, and one player produced several: Dylan Zuverink scored an offensive touchdown, a defensive touchdown on an interception return (his fourth this season), on a kickoff return and on a punt return.

“We ran the ball well, we threw the ball well, and defensively, we had some struggles, but this is as hard as we played in awhile,” Hildebrand said.

 Woodcreek 10 14 14 14 52
 Nevada Union 14 0 28 7 49


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