Del Oro bounces Roseville 24-7 in Monroe's return from injuryBy: Todd Mordhorst
ROSEVILLE – The Roseville High football team took a step forward Friday night. But it wasn’t enough to topple a Del Oro squad that is hitting full stride as it heads into the heart of the Sierra Foothill League gauntlet.
The Golden Eagles held off the feisty Tigers for a 24-7 victory to set up a huge game at rival Granite Bay next Friday.
Senior Brandon Monroe returned to the Del Oro lineup for the first time since early September and made an instant impact. Monroe followed a wall of blockers and coasted to a 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to open the game. Late in the second quarter, Monroe picked off a Roseville pass and dashed 62 yards to make it 14-0.
The Tigers had plenty of fight in them, especially on a 19-play, 65-yard drive that ended with Kyle Downie’s 6-yard TD pass to Bryce Crouch.
The Roseville defense held strong until the fourth quarter. Dylan Kainrath’s 51-yard run set up a Skyler Rand field goal before Mark Leveron found the end zone from 5 yards out to cap Del Oro’s knockout punch of a drive.
“The team really got together on that last drive and finished it off,” Leveron said. “We knew it was going to be a tough game, especially on their turf. It was an opportunity to get better, get a win and prepare for Granite Bay next week.”
The Del Oro offense had a tough time moving the ball consistently against the Tigers (1-6 overall, 0-2 SFL), who regrouped nicely after giving up 45 points to Granite Bay last week.
“We had the best week of practice we’ve had this year,” said junior Isaac Carrel, who had two sacks and three other tackles for loss.
“I can’t fault our kids’ effort at all,” Roseville coach Larry Cunha said. “We just had a couple mistakes that cost us. I’m proud of how we played. The next step is not just staying close, but finding a way to win these games.”
Del Oro (3-4, 2-0) won its third straight game and could be near full strength next week as speedy senior running back/linebacker Tyler Wharton is expected to return.
“With Brandon out all the running backs had to step up and now we’re getting healthy,” Leveron said. “Now any of us can go in and we’re never tired.”