Rocklin rolls over Oakmont 46-7, remains unbeaten

By: Russ Edmondson The Placer Herald
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Rocklin High’s varsity football team improved to 8-0 on the season with Friday night’s dominating performance against visiting Oakmont. The Thunder led the Vikings 46-0 with 4:53 still remaining in the opening half and then cruised for the rest of the game. Rocklin (8-0, 3-0 in the Sierra Foothill League) beat the Vikings (5-3, 1-2 in the SFL) 46-7 as Oakmont scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Rocklin’s starters didn’t play in the second half. The Thunder are now in first place all by themselves in the SFL as Woodcreek beat Del Oro (7-1, 2-1) on Friday night. Rocklin can clinch a SFL title with a victory over visiting Del Oro next Friday night. “With the Del Oro loss we know that they will be at their best (next week),” Rocklin coach Greg Benzel said. Thunder senior running back Jackson Cummings is looking forward to next Friday night’s big game. “(That they lost) doesn’t matter – it will still be a great game,” Cummings said. “It’s going to be our Senior Night and it’s the last (regular season) game at home. It will be special.” Cummings had a huge night against Oakmont, rushing nine times for 242 yards and three touchdowns. He didn’t play following a 28-yard run with 6:08 left in the first half. Cummings scored on runs of 48 and 52 yards in the first quarter and had a 67-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. “It was kind of our game plan – coach Benzel said it started up front and our O-line stepped up big time,” Cummings said. “Our defense made big hits and we rolled on them.” Among Rocklin’s stars on the O-line are tackles Vince Gibbs, Brian McNay, Joey Ramos and Justin Blattel. “Our guys executed,” Benzel said. “We’ve been challenging our O-line for some time and we made some adjustments.” Rocklin’s O-line, both starters and reserves, also paved the way for back-up running back Brian MacDonald to rush 12 times for 122 yards. Rocklin scored three touchdowns in the first quarter and four in the second. Thunder senior linebacker Sean Moore returned a fumble seven yards for a touchdown midway through the opening quarter after junior Morgan Labelle forced Oakmont quarterback Alex Ford to give the ball up. Cummings’ 67-yard run started off the scoring in the second quarter, making it 26-0 with 10:16 left. Junior quarterback Jimmy Laughrea threw touchdowns to CJ Torretta (33 yards, 8:31 left) and Nick Williams (15 yards, 5:40 left) in the quarter and the final score of the night came when Garth Keffer returned an interception for about 30 yards (4:53 left). Williams was Rocklin’s leading receiver with three catches for 70 yards. “Those guys (Torretta and Williams) are juniors and they made big plays,” Benzel said. “We’ve never had a game where we’ve been up 46 in the first half. It’s a rarity – (we had drives where it’s) two or three plays and we’re in the end zone. We were able to do what we wanted to do.” Rocklin seems to be getting better as the season goes along. “I think in many ways we have (gotten better each game),” Benzel said. “The physical play, some big hits tonight. Guys have been buying into bringing it for 48 minutes. Laughrea, who only played in the first half, was 7-12 passing for 154 yards and two touchdowns. Tiger Sorenson was the quarterback in the second half but he did not attempt a pass. “The bottom line is that when you turn the ball over and you don’t play aggressive defense, it’s hard to win against anybody,” Oakmont coach Tim Moore said. “And especially when you play against a team like Rocklin or any team in the SFL.” Oakmont turned the ball over five times as Ford was intercepted three times and fumbled twice. Four of the turnovers came in the first half. Rocklin’s interceptions were by Keffer, Steven Moreno and BJ Roberts while Moore and Jeff Vaughan recovered the fumbles. “We would have been dumb not to talk about (Cummings) all week – you have to focus on him and shutting him down,” Moore said. “We weren’t able to shut him down and we couldn’t stop the passing game. We weren’t very good tonight.” Oakmont scored its touchdown with 6:08 remaining in the fourth quarter when Ford threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to Nathaniel Grady. Ford, who played the entire game, was 16-of-29 for 210 yards. His top receivers were Cooper Mathews (five catches, 91 yards) and Fred Mobley (four catches, 46 yards).