Trey Nahhas may have saved his best for last. At least as far as school records go, Nehhas certainly concluded the regular high school football season with his best football game ever.
The Monterey Trail High School running back gained 346 yards on only 20 carries and scored six of the Mustangs’ touchdowns in a 60-24 romp over Davis Friday night at Mark Macres Memorial Stadium. Two of the first three times he touched the ball, he scored on romps of 51 and 52 yards.
“We just stuck to what we know,” Nahhas said. “We play like we practice and we had a good week of practice and took that into the game.”
|Trey Nahhas (#32) lines up behind his offensive line
The Mustangs’ coaches claimed the last time one of their running backs topped 300 yards in a game was when Drake Tofi did it in 2010, the last year their team played in a Sac-Joaquin Section championship game. With Nahhas now toting the single-game record, they hope this game might be a sign of good things to come in the next few weeks.
The win assured Monterey Trail (6-4 overall, 3-4 Delta League) a spot in the upcoming Division playoffs, which means Nahhas and the Mustangs’ veer offense can inflict more damage on opposing defenses before the 6-0, 180 pound running back can call it a high school career.
“We were hungry and we knew we had to win this one for the playoffs,” Nahhas said.
Elk Grove 44, Sheldon 0
Franklin 38, Pleasant Grove 10
Cosumnes Oaks 45, Ponderosa 21
Bradshaw Christian 40, San Juan 6
Valley 48, Florin 19
Laguna Creek vs. Johnson
Grant vs. Jesuit
Nahhas is a 4.0 student, too, which means schools such as Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo would love to have him continue a football career as a Mustang, the same nickname as his high school’s.
“He’s a great kid and no one deserves it more than Trey Nahhas,” Monterey Trail head coach T.J. Ewing said. “That’s a dream student-athlete. You always want a student-athlete like that to represent your school. He speaks volumes about the kind of kid we have here and who we are coaching.”
Nahhas is also one of the bigger running backs Ewing has coached at Monterey Trail.
“He’s a specimen,” Ewing added. “Take his shirt off, he’s a specimen. He’s super, highly-intelligent, too.”
While his family and several friends, all wearing “#32 Nahhas” shirts, cheered him on in the cool night air on Friday, Nahhas knew his success this season as an 1,895 yards running back could be attributed to a diminutive, yet active offense live in front of him.
“They were awesome,” he claimed. “I wouldn’t have done anything without them. Every time I score it’s because of them and I let them know that.”
No other running back around has been more a part of his team’s’ offense than Nahhas this season. In their 54-29 loss to undefeated Grant, he had 44 carries for 272 yards and a pair of scores. The next week in a 34-27 defeat at Elk Grove, Nahhas rushed the ball 40 more times for 232 yards and two TDs.
Add in Friday’s numbers and he’s carried the pigskin 248 times in 2014.
|MT Principal Jana Durham holds a $1000 check the school won from
Live at the Game, a website specializing in coverage of local sports
manned primarily by high school students
“Yeah, they are beginning to stack the box a little so that’s why the pitch plays are open most of the time,” Nahhas said.
Most high schools now like to embrace the flashy spread offenses and throw the ball around the football field. Not Monterey Trail. They have stuck with the “run it down your throat” philosophy all ten years of coach Ewing’s tenure at the north Elk Grove school. And, the players are all sold out to making the veer successful.
Just ask a couple of its offensive linemen, Rodney Spidell and Anthony Almonte.
“I love it,” Almonte said. “It gives us the opportunity to control the clock and gives us a chance to win. The game is in our hands.”
“We just work on the little things,” Spidell said. “The little things are important.”
“We do have confidence in our receivers to catch the ball if we do throw,” Nahhas added. “We like to ground and pound and run the clock down. We are on defense when we are on offense and don’t let them have a chance to get the ball.”
Even though Monterey Trail ended up in fifth place in the first season of the revived Delta League with a 3-4 mark, they’ve qualified for the post-season alongside league foes Grant, Jesuit, Elk Grove and Franklin.
The Section’s football playoff system takes all first- and second-place teams into its playoffs along with other schools on the strength of totals wins.
That’s a good system in Ewing’s eyes because it may let his team show that close losses to quality opponents can actually be a reward. He likes to compare Delta League games to playoff-type contests.
“You can’t really emotional about winning and losing,” he said. “It is what it is and move onto the next week. But, you’re talking about Section finalist, Section semi-finalists, playoff-contending teams over the last four weeks. That’s the level of football we’ve played against. I love that, the players love that, to be able to play in the atmosphere of those kind of games.”
His team started the year 5-0 but then dropped four in a row, all to the other Delta playoff teams.
“It’s all about preparation and opportunity and seizing it on this week’s game,” Ewing said. “We had opportunities the last four weeks to seize the game and they seized the game on us. “
Ewing is known for keeping around 25 guys on his varsity roster. Maybe that’s because he’s quite a taskmaster, but Spidell knows it results in success on the field.
“Yeah, you may not like it when you’re going through it, but it pays off in the end,” he said.