California split its games on the first night of the Honor Bowl in Loomis as Elk Grove defeated Damonte Ranch (Reno, Nevada) 55-7 before Kamehameha (Hawaii) defeated Del Oro (Loomis) 25-17
“Almost all of our players either have someone or know someone that has been in the military. We wouldn’t have come if it wasn’t for help to raise money and awareness,” said Kamehameha head coach and former NFL All-Pro tight end Doug Cosbie on why his team made the special trip to open the season at the Honor Bowl at Del Oro High School.
In a game of big momentum swings, it was the Warriors who jumped out to an early 13-0 lead after one quarter of play as quarterback Fatu Sua-Godinet scrambled and found a jumping wide receiver in the corner of the end zone on third and goal for the game’s first points and later in the quarter he snuck one in from a yard out.
With the Golden Eagles struggling to give Logan Hurst much time to throw, they finally got the momentum in their favor midway through the second quarter as Hurst threw a deep ball down the right sideline and standout wide receiver Trey Udoffia was finally able to catch one. He out-jumped the cornerback and came down with it, then crossed into the end zone for a 42-yard scoring strike. Del Oro added a field goal to trail by just 13-10 at halftime.
Keeping the momentum going in the second half, it was Mason Hurst who intercepted a deflected pass near midfield to start the drive that gave the Golden Eagles the lead. On the drive, Udoffia had a big third down catch to move the chains and big runs by Logan Hurst set up Tanner Robison to punch it in from a yard out to give Del Oro a 17-13 lead with 6:00 remaining in the third quarter.
That’s what it would remain for awhile as both defenses started to take over before a big sequence of events midway through the final quarter. After a Del Oro punt gave the Warriors the ball on their own 40-yard line with 8:45 remaining, the Golden Eagles had them moving backwards and it looked like they would get the ball back after an incomplete pass on 3rd and 13 from the 37. A roughing the passer penalty, however, gave the Warriors a first down. On the play, the quarterback for the Warriors was hurt and a lengthy delay followed. Many on the Kamehameha sideline feared their quarterback had broken his jaw on the play that drew the flag.
Coming in cold off the bench was backup quarterback Kekona Neumann who proceeded to look like he had been playing all game long. He completed his first three passes of the night and after a few big runs it set up Kaysan Nakatsu to score from two yards out to give the Warriors the lead 19-17 with 4:36 remaining. That lead grew to 25-17 on the next offensive play from scrimmage as the Warriors were able to hit Golden Eagles’ quarterback Logan Hurst and force a fumble that was scooped up and returned for a touchdown. Del Oro had the ball two more times but turned it over on downs and a late interception enabled Kamehameha to run out the clock.
“Our kids are warriors,” said Cosbie, who also is one of the best to have ever played at St. Francis of Mountain View. “We had some backups come in that made some big plays. That’s the great thing about football is that it’s a team game. You never know who the guy is that is going to step up. You never know when you will get your opportunities and it’s a lot like life. When you get the opportunity, you make the most of it.”
The win by Kamehameha prevented California teams from sweeping three games against Hawaii teams this season. Last weekend, both St. John Bosco of Bellflower and Edison of Huntington Beach won games played in the islands.
Elk Grove 55, Damonte Ranch (Reno, Nevada) 7
In the first game of the night, it was all Elk Grove early and often as the Thundering Herd took advantage of turnovers and had some big plays early on to lead 21-0 before the game was four and a half minutes old.
One of those early touchdowns came on an 88-yard run by Eltoro Allen as he scored two rushing touchdowns on the night and rushed for 112 yards. Tyler Vander Waal twice connected with Kyle Van Lindt for touchdown strikes to help the lead grow to 35-0 before Damonte Ranch finally got on the scoreboard with 11.4 seconds left until halftime. Manny Scott-Anderson rushed for a touchdown and had three sacks while Arsenio Ayala also rushed for two scores as the game went to a running clock late in the third quarter.