Rocklin tops Del Oro in SFL battle

Cummings, Pratt each score 2 TDs
By: Eric J. Gourley, Journal Sports Writer
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ROCKLIN — Already guaranteed a berth in the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs, Del Oro High ignored the notion of playing for a tie. Quarterback Max Magleby threw for the win, and the Golden Eagles came up short for the second straight week Friday night. Rocklin tailback Jackson Cummings carried 25 times for 136 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner with 7:42 remaining to lead the Thunder past Del Oro 24-21. Rocklin (9-0, 4-0 SFL) clinched its first outright SFL crown, while the Eagles (7-2, 2-2 SFL) lost their second game in a row after falling to Woodcreek 16-9 last week. Del Oro tailback Bryce Pratt, who had a season-worst 20 yards on 11 carries in the first half, got things going in the third quarter. Pratt scored on an 11-yard run to cut the deficit to 17-14 on the Eagles’ opening drive of the second half and his 2-yard dive with 9:35 left in the fourth quarter gave Del Oro a 21-17 advantage, its first lead since the first quarter. Cummings’ second touchdown put the Thunder back on top, and the Eagles turned the ball over on downs before earning it back with a strong defensive stand of their own. Del Oro took over near midfield with 2:45 left in the game. Magleby completed a 26-yard pass to tight end Spencer Butterfield and Pratt’s 12-yard run on the next play gave the Eagles a first down at the 16-yard line. A short run and a penalty later, Magleby’s third-and-10 pass was tipped incomplete. With 1:09 remaining, Del Oro opted not to try a field goal. Kicker Ian Scott had missed badly on a 48-yard attempt with three seconds left in the first half after booting the game’s opening kickoff out of bounds twice. The natural grass was also slippery from second-half rain. “Ian’s a good kicker but he kind of struggled,” head coach Casey Taylor said. “The field wasn’t great and we just felt as a staff we didn’t want to put it on him. We felt we had a good play called.” Magleby’s pass to the left corner of the end zone fell incomplete, over the head of leaping wide receiver Freddie Cargile. “It’s really slippery out here,” Magleby said. “It’s hard to kick, and we were confident in our throwing. It was there. We had it. We could have won, but it’s just those little things you look back on.” The Eagles will also look back on a bad break late in the first half. Trailing 17-7 with 45 seconds left, Magleby threw a pass downfield on fourth-and-2 from the 42. Shoichi Martinson tipped the pass in the air to teammate Adrian Williams, who raced down the sideline and was tackled inside the 5. An official’s inadvertent whistle when the ball was tipped forced Del Oro to replay the down. “We got screwed,” Williams said. “That’s it. I don’t know what that was. They shouldn’t have blown a whistle until the ball dropped, until it hit the ground.” Magleby connected with the junior tight end again on the next play, but the Eagles failed to get inside the 20 and a holding penalty backed them up to the 30, where Scott missed the field goal. “You work your butt off to get all the way down there and then you get a bad call,” Magleby said. “It definitely takes away your momentum and frustrates you, and you can’t work well when you’re frustrated. Everything just falls apart from there.” Williams caught a 65-yard touchdown pass from Magleby in the first quarter to put the Eagles ahead 7-3 after Vincent Barrow’s 20-yard field goal got the Thunder on the board on their opening possession. Pratt finished with 135 yards and two scores on 32 carries, struggling again on the road. Thunder quarterback Jimmy Laughrea scored a touchdown on a 2-yard scamper in the second quarter to give Rocklin a 10-7 lead. Del Oro wraps up the regular season at Oakmont next week, while Rocklin travels to Roseville. “We wanted to win league,” Taylor said. “It was a huge game for us. We’ve faced a lot of adversity on the road. We’re definitely disappointed, but we have an opportunity to beat Oakmont and hopefully be a 5 or 6 seed. We’re two of three plays from being 9-0 and two or three plays from being 5-4, but we feel we can make some noise in the playoffs. We’ll have one home game for sure.” Junior varsity Quarterback Bobby Heatherington passed for two touchdowns and Del Oro routed Rocklin 41-6. Nick O’Sullivan ran 30 yards on the first play from scrimmage and Russell Smith carried 22 yards for a touchdown seconds later. Heatherington threw first-half scoring strikes of 19 yards to Alex Bertrando and 15 yards to Blake Covey. O’Sullivan added a 1-yard touchdown dive and the Eagles (9-0, 4-0 SFL) led 27-0 at halftime. Kyle Anderson scored on a 60-yard run on the first play from scrimmage in the second half. Ashwin Cardenas recovered a fumble in the end zone for Del Oro’s final touchdown, his first career touchdown.