Day 2 Honor Bowl: 3-0 for Cali

Kasey Mansen had an 88-yard kickoff return for Cardinal Newman of Santa Rosa while Miles Harrison had an 85-yard touchdown run for Clayton Valley of Concord during separate games of Saturday's Honor Bowl in Loomis. Photos: Mark Tennis.

Kasey Mansen had an 88-yard kickoff return for Cardinal Newman of Santa Rosa while Miles Harrison had an 85-yard touchdown run for Clayton Valley of Concord during separate games of Saturday’s Honor Bowl in Loomis. Photos: Mark Tennis.


Nevada teams from the Reno area actually aren’t that far from Loomis, but all three that played on Saturday at the Honor Bowl went home licking their wounds from losses to solid California teams.

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For recaps of Honor Bowl games played on Friday night, CLICK HERE.

Clayton Valley (Concord) 55, Carson (Carson City, Nev.) 7

All the attention before this game centered on the eligibility of Ugly Eagle mammoth defensive tackle Kahlil McKenzie, who was ruled ineligible for the season earlier in the day by the CIF North Coast Section.

Clayton Valley's Jax Carter carries the team's flag before entering stadium Saturday in Loomis. Photo: Mark Tennis.

Clayton Valley’s Jax Carter carries the team’s flag before entering stadium Saturday in Loomis. Photo: Mark Tennis.

While an appeal seems likely over McKenzie’s transfer from nearby De La Salle of Concord and more on that story is sure to come, Clayton Valley already was looking like a preseason favorite for this year’s CIF NorCal Division II bowl game even without the extra player.

The Ugly Eagles certainly looked the part in their season opener against the Senators. Senior running back Miles Harrison scored on an 85-yard run on the team’s second offensive play of the season and although he missed a chunk of the game with an injured jaw, he was still the game’s MVP for his team.

Harrison came on in the second half following the injury with two TDs in the third quarter – one on a 11-yard run and the other from 19 yards out. He finished with 210 yards on just 14 carries.

Two other Ugly Eagle backs who benefitted from the team’s quick-snap, no-huddle, never-punt system were Luis Ramos with eight carries for 102 yards and one TD and Justin Zapanta with seven carries for 63 yards and one score. QB Nate Keisel also ran for a score and had a TD pass to Ramos.

“It’s a real credit to Coach (Tim) Murphy that we had a plan for all the distractions and everything else,” said assistant coach Mike Dominguez, who is taking over some of Murphy’s role as he serves a two-game suspension at the start of this season for summer practice violations. “He just knows how to prepare for every situation. When Miles for out for about a quarter and a half, but we were able to come together.”

McKenzie and younger brother Jalen, a sophomore who looks like he’s 6-foot-5 and about 300 pounds, both suited up in full pads and were involved in helping their teammates on the sidelines during the game.

Clayton Valley still has an impressive lineman even without those two in 6-foot-6, 260-pound Sean Vaisima. Team leader Jax Carter (6-2, 235) also shined as a blocking back on offense and as a linebacker on defense.

The Ugly Eagles host Tracy in their second game next Friday.

Cardinal Newman (Santa Rosa) 56, Churchill County (Fallon, Nev.) 32

On the bus ride over from the Redwood Empire, head coach Paul Cronin had to have some words with the first sophomore who has ever started a game for him in a season opener.

honor bowl“It was weird on the ride over because he was a bit nervous,” Cronin said. “It didn’t last long, though. He played great.”

That sophomore was 6-foot, 190-pound Jordon Brookshire. He helped turn the game after the Cardinals fell behind briefly 32-28 in the third quarter with an 86-yard TD pass to senior Tommy Streb.

Brookshire finished with eight completions in 11 attempts for 176 yards and two TDs. He also rushed 24 times for 223 yards and three scores.

The other big play in Cardinal Newman’s surge was an 88-yard kickoff return by Kasey Mansen, which came after Churchill County grabbed the lead when Aaron Bitter grabbed a pitch by Brookshire and raced 44 yards the other way for a score.

Cardinal Newman had some other young players impress, including RB-LB Michael Ortola (5-10, 185) and OL Jamon Roberts (6-4, 230), both juniors.

Following the TD pass to Streb, Brookshire extended the Cardinals’ lead to 49-32 on a 36-yard scoring run.

In two weeks, Cardinal Newman will play Clayton Valley.

Clovis North (Fresno) 19, Reed (Reno, Nev.) 16

Ranked No. 17 in our Preseason 50, the Broncos started slowly in the hot sun against a foe that already had played its first game. Eventually, the Clovis North defense just gave its offense too many opportunities in wearing down Reed but the Raiders had one last gasp in them.

We think it was about 30 years ago the first time that Cal-Hi Sports covered a team that was coached by Tim Simons, who started another stint of coaching at Clovis North on Saturday in Loomis. Photo: Mark Tennis.

We think it was about 30 years ago the first time that Cal-Hi Sports covered a team that was coached by Tim Simons, who started another stint of coaching at Clovis North on Saturday in Loomis. Photo: Mark Tennis.

After falling behind 3-0 in the first quarter, the Broncos answered with a pair of touchdown passes from senior Austin Autry to senior Noruwa Obanor. They extended the lead to 19-3 early in the third quarter on a seven-yard run by Weston Hatcher after sophomore linebacker Noah Haupt came up with an interception.

It’s amazing how much Noah looks like as a sophomore compared to his senior brother, Hayden, who also was a sophomore starter for Clovis East and is now getting D1 college offers.

Reed, which lost to national powerhouse Bishop Gorman in last year’s Class 4A state final in Nevada, began a comeback with 5:51 left on a 20-yard TD pass from QB Matt Denn to Grayson Young.

Clovis North then helped that comeback with a poor punt snap that gave the Raiders the ball at the Broncos’ 41-yard line. They cashed in on the opportunity with a 1-yard TD pass from Jackson Gilmore to Parker Gilmore with 2:33 remaining in the contest.

Clovis North avoided defeat by recovering an onside kick, then picking up a first down on its next series that allowed the Broncos to run out the clock.

“We didn’t even have a scrimmage and haven’t done much live stuff at all in the summer,” said Clovis North coach Tim Simons, who won his first game in his second stint as the Broncos’ head coach and is one of the winningest coaches in CIF Central Section history. “We know we have a lot of stuff to work on next week.”

That task will be much tougher for the Broncos because their next game will be against No. 5 Folsom and record-breaking QB Jake Browning.

Simons added that USC-bound defensive tackle Jacob Daniel will not be playing until October due to continuing rehab work on a knee he had surgery on last January.

Daniel’s major D-1 teammate, UCLA-bound Bolu Olurunfunmi, led the Broncos with 20 carries for 131 yards.


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