The 2014 high school season got underway on Friday with the NorCal Honor Bowl. While Elk Grove put together a dominating effort, Del Oro suffered a home loss in the nightcap.
Warriors outlast Del Oro: Facing a third and 13 in the fourth quarter, Kamehameha starting quarterback Noah Sua-Godinet took a big hit that knocked him out of the game (Del Oro was flagged for roughing the passer). With a fresh set of downs, backup quarterback Kekona Neumann completed three passes en route to a Warriors' touchdown and a 19-17 lead. On Del Oro's next offensive play, Logan Hurst was hit and fumbled for another Kamehame touchdown with less than five minutes left. Del Oro had two chances at the equalizer touchdown, but failed on both possessions.
The game started off poorly for the Golden Eagles, which had back-to-back three and outs with a short punt. Kamehameha took advantage with a touchdown pass from Sua-Godinet and a touchdown run from the junior for a 13-0 lead. Del Oro got into the game when junior Trey Udoffia hauled in a 43 yard touchdown over a defender. After adding a late field goal, Del Oro trailed 13-10 at halftime.
The Golden Eagles held their only lead of the night after Tanner Robinson scored from a yard out to make it 17-13.
Del Oro is breaking in plenty of new faces, including at both backfield spots. The Golden Eagles play one of the toughest non-league schedules in the state and it doesn't get easier with Helix next weekend. Del Oro has questions about moving the ball consistently and in special teams, but the defense held up well against the speed and quickness of Kamehameha.
Elk Grove rolls in opener: On its first five offensive plays, Elk Grove tallied 161 yards and three touchdowns to jump out on Damonte Ranch. The rest was for formality as the No. 5 Thundering Herd beat Damonte Ranch of Nevada 55-7. Despite seeing Spencer Sheff in limited duty due in injury, Elk Grove stayed with its reliable plan of multiple runners and an active defense with the added wrinkle of a passing attack from sophomore quarterback Tyler Vander Waal.
Senior Eltoro Allen showed off some of his top speed on an 88 yard touchdown run and a kickoff return for a score. Manny Scott-Anderson was a standout on both sides of the ball with the game's first touchdown and three sacks.
On the last weekend in August, Elk Grove cemented itself as one of the top teams in Northern California. It continually reloads from graduation losses and has one of its best collections of runners during its most recent run. The defense never let Damonte Ranch gain momentum in forcing turnovers on its first three possessions.
Manny Scott-Anderson 5-foot-11, 190 ATH Elk Grove (2015): Scott-Anderson was tough to block on his multiple blitz attempts and ran the ball well on offense. He has a lean frame with some speed and can line up at multiple spots. Scott-Anderson should have some options for continuing his football career.
Mika Tafua 6-foot-3, 225 pounds DE Kamehameha (2015): An athletic outside rusher committed to BYU, Tafua made numerous plays in the backfield. He is a strong tackler and plays well in space. He has the frame to add muscle in the coming years, but from one viewing on Friday, looks like a good commitment for the Cougars.
Trey Udoffia 5-foot-11, 162 pounds WR Del Oro (2016): Udoffia looks like the next Division I recruit for the Golden Eagles. He has enough size, but isn't great in this department. However, he competes well in traffic, can make people miss in space and has good quickness. He made the highlight play of the night on his 43 yard touchdown.
Tyler Vander Waal 6-foot-3, 210 QB Elk Grove (2017): Making his first varsity start, Vander Waal showed some of his physical tools which makes him an intriguing prospect. He has good feet and can make throws out of the pocket. At times, he was slow in his decision making, but made the most of his limited opportunities in the blowout win.