More than 20 minutes had passed since the final siren sounded on Foothill High’s 28-14 win at Freedom in Oakley.
Foothill running back Isaiah Floyd is one of the last few players to work his way across the field so toward the bus that will take him and his teammates back to Pleasanton. Once he’s outside the stadium gates, he catches a glimpse of his coach Matt Sweeney.
The long-time coach of the Falcon was also making his way to the bus while recounting the highlights of the game to someone on his cell phone. He paused when he saw Floyd.
“How many TDs did you have tonight?,” the coach asks. “Two?”
Floyd doesn’t have the answer immediately, and someone else nearby spoke up to say he’d scored three times. Floyd’s hesitation though is perhaps even more promising than the 135 yards and three scores that he ran for in the 28-14 nonleague road win.
He knew the win wasn’t about him. It was about a team effort that included a defensive unit that forced three turnovers and six sacks, and a sophomore quarterback who rarely looked like an underclassman on his way to a completing 8 of 13 passes for 152 yards and a touchdown.
It was a thorough victory. Foothill (2-0) never trailed, and was up 21-0 after scoring on the first play of the second quarter.
“We’re all together right now,” Floyd said. “That’s the football foundation since Day 1. Coach Sweeney prides us on being one team and coming together as one. That’s how you win games.”
Floyd is part of a senior class that boasts six three-year returning starters, of which only three have actually seen field time in 2015 due to a variety of reasons. All of which means Sweeney is looking for week-to-week improvement now before returning three-year standouts like linebacker/fullback Cash Connolly and tight end Matt Gates can return to action.
“If you don’t keep improving, you don’t get through our league,” Sweeney said. “Our performance tonight was a big step up from last week.”
Foothill rolled to a 38-15 win over visiting San Leandro in its season-opener on Aug. 28. With its next two games against winless teams, Stagg-Stockton and Castro Valley, Foothill is set to open East Bay Athletic League play with a 4-0 mark when it hosts Granada-Livermore on Sept. 25.
10 FOR 10
The Inderkum Tigers of Sacramento have been the model of consistency under head coach Terry Stark, recording double-digit wins in nine consecutive seasons through 2014. With a 34-31 victory over visiting El Cerrito, the Tigers took a positive step toward a tenth straight season with at least 10 wins.
While it is still early to map out a minimum of at least another eight victories, Inderkum’s success in league play points to a very good chance that the program makes it a full decade of posting double digits in the “W” column. That consistent success, which includes seven league titles and 49-4 record against league foes in nine years, has yet to bring a Sac-Joaquin Section championship banner back to the Natomas campus.
Senior Derrick Henderson, the Tigers’ latest star linebacker, attributes the program’s success to the values taught and practiced by the entire Inderkum football family.
“The pain (of coming so close to winning a title last year) is something I tell the team about all the time and what I don’t want them to feel,” he said. “The feeling still sits inside of me today, but that pain is something I use every Friday night on the field.”
Just two games into the season and athletes are putting up video game numbers that are turning heads and providing fodder for crazy season projections.
Whitney-Rocklin senior QB Hunter Rodrigues followed up a huge first-week effort with another 400-plus yard passing performance and 7 more total TDs. Rodrigues has thrown for 882 yards and 13 TDs and added a pair of rushing scores as the Wildcats have scored 55 and 56 points in compiling a 1-1 record. At his current pace the signal-caller, who tossed a pair of TD passes in limited action as a junior, would pass for 4,410 yards and 65 TDs for the regular season.
Christian Brothers-Sacramento junior Jamarri Jackson added another four TDs in the Falcons’ second game to give him 8 total TDs for the season. He has recorded 4 rushing TDs, 2 receiving TDs, and scored once on an interception return and a punt return. His pace will give the versatile star 40 all-purpose scores in the regular season, and likely a large number of college recruiters blowing up his phone.
Central Catholic-Modesto coach Roger Canepa joined the 200-win club with the Raiders’ 49-0 season-opening rout of Atwater. Canepa, who has led Central Catholic to three consecutive CIF State Bowl victories, is the 11th Sac-Joaquin Section coach to win 200 games. Escalon’s Mark Loureiro leads all SJS coaches with 266 career wins (and counting). Other active coaches in the club are Grant’s Mike Alberghini (255), Christian Brothers’ Dan Carmazzi (240), and Bear River’s Terry Logue (212).
“”Chace Bryson & Jim McCue
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