Freshman Hayden Anderson Has Impact On Windsor Jaguars’ Big Road Win Over Benicia And 5-0 Start To Fall •
Windsor receiver/defensive back Hayden Anderson admits he’s never blocked a punt before, so when he broke through the middle of the Benicia punt formation and smothered a prospective first quarter boot, the fact that he was able to scramble the few extra feet to recover the loose ball for a touchdown seemed like icing on the cake.
“We’ve been working on that since the summer,” Anderson said. “That was definitely a thrill for me. Definitely the recovery, too.”
You’ll have to excuse Anderson if some of this seems new. He is, after all, just a freshman.
On a Windsor offense full of weapons, the 6-foot-1, 180-pound two-way standout has found a home opposite star senior Makhi Johnson to form one of the North Coast Section’s most talented receiving pairs. He also starts at cornerback, doing double duty for the 5-0 Jaguars.
In Windsor’s 38-14 win over the Panthers, Anderson added to his blocked punt recovery with a 27-yard touchdown reception that put the Jaguars up 14-0. Johnson went on to haul in two touchdowns of his own, with all three coming courtesy of the right arm of senior quarterback Chase Vehmeyer.
Starring on the varsity squad wasn’t necessarily the initial plan for Anderson, but it is now the reality for a Windsor team that looks primed to contend for a North Coast Section Division III title and possibly more.
“I started the season on JV thinking I’d have maybe one year on JV to work on my skills and then go up,” Anderson said. “Coach (Paul) Cronin asked me to come up to varsity and I had to take the chance. Even if I wasn’t going to start, I was going to get better and smarter at football whether I played or not.”
While Anderson is proving a quick study as a playmaker on both sides of the ball, he’s also making fast friends on a senior-laden offense full of both talent and potential.
“Hayden is crazy. He’s reliable, he’s athletic, I don’t know,” Vehmeyer said. “I can’t believe he’s only a freshman.”
VOLATILE VALLEY OAK LEAGUE ROLLS ON
Roland Brown bagged his second interception of the game with five minutes to play on a wild launching deflection off an Oakdale receiver, and Central Catholic-Modesto ran down Oakdale with a 22-0 second-half surge to prevail 32-14 at The Corral Friday.
It was yet another Valley Oak League thriller. Manteca survived 40-34 against East Union-Manteca in overtime Friday and Oakdale lost a 63-56 slugfest to Kimball-Tracy the week prior.
Oakdale appeared poised to topple Central Catholic after two Yahir Ayala touchdown runs and long sustained drives in the first two frames, but the double wing was stymied by the Raiders throughout the second half.
Central Catholic took the lead with Aiden Taylor’s first of two touchdown runs to open the second half. Oakdale gave up two more points after quarterback Jackson Holt fumbled into his own end zone for a safety, and watched Taylor blitz to his second score after a punt midway through the fourth. Tyler Jacklich chased Brown’s second pick with a touchdown run to close the rivalry meeting for good.
Taylor ended with 125 yards on 22 carries while Nolan Croasdale caught five passes for 44 yards. Central Catholic quarterback Tyler Wentworth completed 8 of 14 passes for 77 yards, a first-quarter touchdown pass to Mario Savala III and interception to Oakdale’s Zach Stott.
Up next for Central Catholic (5-1) is undefeated Kimball (6-0).
ELK GROVE COMEBACK TOUR MAKES ANOTHER STOP
The Thundering Herd (3-2) remain in the hunt for a Delta League title after a third-straight win, this one a 42-35 thriller against Sheldon-Sacramento (4-2).
While Sheldon limited the effectiveness of 3-star running back Zeke Burnett (27 yards), quarterback Ethan Archuleta was a showstopper. He completed 4 of 5 passes for 142 yards and touchdowns and ran for another 159 with three scores.
His efforts helped Elk Grove overcome a 15-6 halftime deficit and outscore Sheldon 21-14 in the fourth quarter.
Elk Grove’s Pita Folaumotui Vi also turned in another sensational defensive effort. He had three sacks, blocked a field goal, forced a fumble and returned it 15 yards for a touchdown.
TOP 20 RESULTS
- No. 1 FOLSOM def. Del Oro-Loomis 58-6
- No. 2 ST. FRANCIS-MTN. VIEW def. Sacred Heart Cathedral-S.F. 37-13
- St. Frances Academy-Baltimore def. No. 3 DE LA SALLE-CONCORD 42-28
- No. 4 SERRA-SAN MATEO def. No. 7 BELLARMINE-SAN JOSE 41-7
- No. 6 ROCKLIN def. No. 17 GRANITE BAY 26-6
- No. 8 VALLEY CHRISTIAN–SAN JOSE def. St. Ignatius-S.F. 28-12
- No. 9 LOS GATOS def. Santa Clara 35-0
- No. 10 CENTRAL CATHOLIC-MODESTO def. Oakdale 32-14
- No. 11 JESUIT-CARMICHAEL def. Franklin-Elk Grove 47-16
- No. 12 SAN RAMON VALLEY-DANVILLE def. Foothill-Pleasanton 42-0
- No. 13 ST. MARY’S-STOCKTON def. Tracy 56-13
- No. 15 EDISON-STOCKTON def. Stagg-Stockton 70-0
- No. 16 MANTECA def. East Union-Manteca 40-34 OT
- No. 18 MENLO-ATHERTON-ATHERTON def. Oak Ridge-El Dorado Hills 35-24
- No. 19 SALINAS def. San Benito-Hollister 17-14