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September 22, 2012Elk Grove came into this week's game against Nevada Union ranked No. 2 in the NCP Top 20 as the top team in the Sac-Joaquin Section. After a 43-19 win over the Miners, the Thundering Herd validated that ranking as they turn their attention to defending the Delta River Conference title.
The Herd used their speed and big play ability to post the 24 point win over No. 13 Nevada Union. The game, which was 14-13 at half in favor of Elk Grove, was broken open in the second half as the Herd scored 4 touchdowns on 50+ yard plays. Elk Grove comes at you in waves with a trio of quality backs led by Robert Frazier. It also uses speed and quickness on defense where they pressured quarterback Kyle Cota numerous times and forced four turnovers and a safety.
Elk Grove runs a wing-T offense with some unique wrinkles. At times they line up three backs in the backfield in a fullback/tailback look but with another back offset from the fullback. Out of this formation the Thundering Herd can run equally well either way and gives them one more blocker at the point of attack.
Nevada Union also runs the wing-T, but uses the shotgun formation more than they have in the past. When they use Tanner Vallejo as the single back, it was effective as he is a load to bring down. Both of these offenses rely on playing from in front and struggled when they fall behind.
EG- Wadus Parker 3 yard run 10:01 left in the first. (7-0)
NU- Cota 34 yard TD pass to Austin Marks 8:43 left in the second. (7-7)
NU-Cota to Ian Davis for a 10 yard TD pass 2:37 left in the second PAT Blocked. (13-7)
EG-Frazier 44 yard TD run, after a 56 yard kickoff return by Eljiah Jones, 2:17 left in the second. (14-13)
EG-Frazier 76 yard TD run with 11:13 left in the third. (21-13)
EG-Cota tackled in end zone for safety by Delvonte Wysinger , 6:21 left in the third. (23-13)
EG-Fumble recovery and 72 yard TD return by Parker, 3:24 left in third. (29-13)
NU-Vallejo 13 yard TD run on a direct snap, 1:14 left in the third. (29-19)
EG-Frazier 56 yard TD run, first play of the fourth quarter. (36-19)
EG-Parker 59 yard TD run, 8:22 left in the game. (43-19)
Players of Note
Robert Frazier (Elk Grove RB/DB) carried the ball for 307 yards and three touchdowns. Frazier, only 5-foot-8 and 180 pounds, is a fierce runner who starts most runs between the tackles and gets what he can. If he finds a seam is gone. Frazier shows great patience and follows his blocks very well. On defense he is a tenacious tackler and outstanding in man coverage.
Wadus Parker (Elk Grove RB/LB) rushed for 111 yards and accounted for three touchdowns. Parker is a little bigger than Frazier and has a very similar running style. On the opening touchdown Parker made a great move to the inside to freeze the defender and then beat him to the corner. He plays most of the defensive snaps at linebacker also and is a sure tackle and always around the ball, hence the fumble return for a score.
Tommy Arnold (Elk Grove QB/LB) is the unsung star of this trio but is the glue that manages the game at quarterback. He picked up key first downs that kept Nevada Union's offense on the sideline. At linebacker, he is a hitting machine and plays with the same instincts that he does at quarterback.
Kyle Cota (Nevada Union QB) threw for 286 yards and two scores while under pressure all night. Cota, while not having a big arm, is very accurate and reads the open receiver very well. His favorite target is Davis and has good timing in finding him in open spaces between defenders on time.
Both Elk Grove and Nevada Union have next week off before starting their league schedules. After the game Elk Grove head coach Chris Nixon was very pleased with his team in saying, "they came back from early miscues (two turnovers inside the five yard line) and played very hard against a good team." When asked about Frazier, Nixon said, "Robert is a special, special kid who I have had since he was a sophomore and he does everything for us."
Conversely Nevada Union head coach Dave Humphers said, "It was tale of two halves. In the second, we didn't tackle well and against an explosive team like Elk Grove that's a problem."
The JV game was won by Nevada Union 26-21 on a 2 yard run by Travis Owens with 8 seconds left in the game.