The Nevada Union and Bear River football teams got different results in their season openers last week, but the Miners may be getting a much-needed break from officials for this week’s game.
Nevada Union continued a downward spiral that’s now in its fifth season, getting hammered by Antelope 41-15. Running back Dawson Fay, who scored both of the Miners’ touchdowns, was ejected from the game in the second half after getting into a scuffle with Titan players.
Under the rules governing California high school football, any played ejected from a game can’t play in the next one. But we’ve learned that officials are reviewing the decision and Fay may get to play in the team’s home opener against Placer Friday night.
But Bear River quarterback Luke Baggett will definitely be on the sideline when the Bruins travel to Union Mine Friday night. He was ejected three minutes into the home opener against Orland for targeting another player while playing safety on defense. It turned out the Bruins didn’t need him as they ran the ball effectively in a 49-7 win.
It’s not unusual for players to taunt each other during games, and to take cheap shots when they think they can get away with them. Coaches caution players to keep their cool, but it takes just a split-second flare-up to start a fight. Several players from each school were involved in the NU-Antelope scrum, but Fay was the only player ejected. It’s hard to believe he was the only one at fault.
In the interest of player safety, a major emphasis has been placed on eliminating targeting–basically, using your head as a battering ram against a player who can’t defend himself–at all levels of the game. Whether it’s the NFL, college or high school, you will be ejected if you’re caught spearing. Maybe the Bear River coaches need to spend more time on this aspect of the game.
Union Mine opened its season with a 7-3 win over Amador. Backup quarterback Calder Kunde, who threw only five passes last week, should have a lot more plays to run for the Bruins. His task will be easier if the defense continues its stout play.
Antelope was ranked 14th going into the game against Nevada Union, and the Miners showed no improvement from last year’s dismal performance. The passing game barely registered a pulse–69 yards in 17 attempts–and last year’s worst defense in the Sierra Foothill League showed no improvement against the Titans. NU will face a Placer team that moved up one spot in the rankings to No. 18 with a 49-30 win over Pleasant Grove.
HOT STUFF: Temperatures are expected to top 100 degrees Friday and Saturday, which can make for dangerous playing conditions for games that start before the sun sets. Don’t be surprised if start times are delayed for Friday’s games.