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October 19, 2013The hits were hard and harder in Elk Grove on Friday in the Thundering Herd's 7-3 win over Grant. The No. 5 ranked team remained undefeated while De La Salle extends its win streak to 33 games.
The yards and points were tough to come by, but the hard hits were not in the Delta Valley Conference showdown between No. 5 Elk Grove (7-0) and No. 16 Grant (4-3). The Thundering Herd rode a third quarter touchdown run from quarterback Tommy Arnold to move past the Pacers 7-3.
"We just play our game. Coach tells us we have to do our job. My job is if I drop back to pass and nothing is there, I have to try and make a play," Arnold said in also crediting his offensive line.
Grant struck first with a 23 yard field goal from Ruben Garza after driving 56 yards into the red zone on its second drive of the game. Elk Grove had two chances to tie the game in the first half, but missed field goals from 39 and 22 yards to go into halftime down 3-0.
The decisive score was started when Arnold recovered a Grant fumble to set up Elk Grove on Grant's 41 yard line. Arnold ended up breaking containment on a pass play, worked through the middle of the field and waltzed into end zone. The senior finished with 43 yards rushing with numerous key scrambles.
"We'll drop back to pass and you take off to run it because no one was covering you," Elk Grove head coach Chris Nixon joked. "I was excited. It was a big game for him. He's out there playing linebacker and turns around and plays quarterback."
Grant had two promising drives in the fourth quarter, but couldn't convert. The Pacers reached Elk Grove's 33 yard line, but a clipping and holding penalty halted things. On the ensuing drive, Grant moved the ball to its 47 yard line before turning it over on downs with less than two minutes left.
"(The defensive coaches) put together a great game plan and I was excited to see it executed. We've been doing it all year long," Nixon said. "While you never feel comfortable holding a 7-3 lead, there isn't another defense I would put out in front of an offense to hold them."
Since losing to Grant 61-7 in 2010, Elk Grove has beaten the Pacers three straight years. Douglas Benton
De La Salle breezes past Logan
In a Friday night game featuring the unbeaten De La Salle Spartans and the 5-1 James Logan Colts, the Spartans had no problem coasting to victory. De La Salle was led to a 49-7 victory by the effort of running back John Velasco. The senior running back rushed for three touchdowns on the road to victory, all coming before the third quarter was over. The Spartans defense had another strong showing, giving up a single touchdown when their back up defense was in.
Special teams devastated Logan's chances early as punting was not in the cards for the Colts on Friday. With multiple punts around just 20 yards or less, De La Salle was set up with amazing starting field position. A punt attempt deep in Logan territory right before the half was fumbled and recovered for a De La Salle touchdown. In the last five games for the Spartans, they have averaged more than 35 points per game, outscoring their opponents 212 to 54.
"Our defense played great, we just came out here and dominated," De La Salle CB Kevin Griffin said.
The Spartans once again asserted their dominance as a premier team and made a solid James Logan team look horrible. The good news for the Spartans was that Arizona State commit Dasmond Tautalatasi was back on the field and he played most of the game.
"The elbow is 100 percent. I'm just wearing the brace to make sure everything is right. We really came together on offense, defense, and special teams tonight, I thought we did well," Tautalatasi said.
7-0 De La Salle will look to maintain their dominance as they take on Amador Valley next week. 5-2 James Logan will take on Washington at home next week, looking to balance back from the loss. Derek Lytle