Friday, September 25, 2015

Monterey Trail, EG Win/Franklin, Sheldon Look Subpar In Delta Openers

Week Four Results:

Monterey Trail 35, Sheldon 14
Grant 27, Franklin 0
Elk Grove 55, Davis 0 
Cosumnes Oaks 35, Oakmont 6 
Laguna Creek 33, Valley 6
McClatchy 35, Florin 30

Pleasant Grove 43, Jesuit 9
Bradshaw Christian 50, Encina 12

In a game that game that Herbie Berry wanted to win very badly, the Sheldon Huskies opened the 2015 Delta League schedule by squandering several opportunities to score and ended up on the losing end of a 35-14 decision with Monterey Trail Friday.

“There were tremendous opportunities tonight,” Berry said. “The difference between us and them tonight was they executed and we didn’t.”

         See Photos from the game on the Elk Grove Sports Corner Facebook site

The Huskies had a great chance to open their season with three wins in the first four games for the first time since 2009. That year Sheldon actually won their first five games under coach Ed Lombardi. Instead the now-2-2 Huskies started the league slate under a cloud of questions about effort and consistency hovering over their program.

“The thing we need to fix is being more consistent,” Berry observed. “We were missing blocks on the inside, people are going in the wrong direction. They are smarter than that. We practiced better than that. They just aren’t accustomed to winning yet and that is something we just have to build.”
Sheldon coach Herbie Berry

On the opposite sidelines of the Sheldon/Pleasant Grove Community Stadium the Mustangs’ T.J. Ewing was beaming with pride for the way his club dominated the clock in the early going, jumped out to an early lead and held on the rest of the way.

“That was a big win because we had a lot of guys who were out,” Ewing said. “It was awesome because that was a total team win. I am just proud of all our players.”

Monterey Trail quarterback Robert Holt opened the scoring with a 77-yard run on the third play of the game. His pass to Neville Bood on the two-point conversion gave the Mustangs a 8-0 early lead.

They scored again on their next possession with Aztlan Lopez running in from the one-yard line.  A two-point conversion was no good and it was 14-0.

Sheldon QB Chance LaChapelle and (#21) Deante Grinner
Sheldon finally got jump started on a Chance LaChapelle to Norvell Meredith 30 yard pass that got the Huskies deep into Mustang territory midway through the second quarter. But, Aaron Ortiz missed a 37-yard field goal.

The Mustangs responded with Arnett Belton’s 55-yard TD run. With a two-point PAT, Monterey Trail lead, 22-0, with 5:13 left in the second quarter.

On the next possession, Sheldon gave up the ball on downs at the Monterey Trail 15. But the Huskies’ defense held the Mustangs, forcing a punt out of the end zone and took over at the Monterey Trail 31.

Sheldon running back Graylon Lindsey III scored on a four-yard run to get the Huskies on the board, 22-7, going into halftime.

Sheldon got good field position at the beginning of the third quarter when Monterey Trail tried an onside kick, but the Huskies recovered. Eight plays later Sheldon was on the Mustangs’ two-yardline, but fumbled the ball.

After forcing a punt, LaChapelle put together a pretty 47-yard drive that included a pair of passes to talented receiver Anthony Cook. LaChapelle hit Mekhi Collins on a 17-yard slant route and after the extra point pulled Sheldon to within eight points at 22-14 with 2:32 remaining in the third quarter.

“When the line blocks and (LaChapelle) sees the field, he’s spectacular,” Berry said. “He’s going to be a great quarterback. And, he’s going to be a great quarterback this season. We just have to execute.”

Sheldon then had three opportunities in a row to tie the game.

Defensive lineman Ravontae Holt recovered a Monterey Trail fumble at the Mustangs’ 43 yardline, but Sheldon went four-and-out. On a fourth-and-eight at the Monterey Trail 41, LaChapelle was hurried to throw the ball away by blitzing linebacker Tui Pulu.
Monterey Trail QB Robert Holt

Early in the fourth quarter, Sheldon started marching from their own 18-yardline. LaChapelle had pretty pass plays to Cook and Lindsey on consecutive plays but ended up throwing a pair of incomplete passes while under pressure and the Huskies turned the ball over on their own 39 with 5:18 left in the game.

“I thought our guys really picked it up when there was adversity,” Ewing said. “Give Sheldon credit when they really blocked their guys, they played really well.”

Holt found Bood on a 24-yard TD hook-up and after a two-point coversion led Sheldon 28-14 with 3:22 remaining.

Monterey Trail head coach T.J. Ewing (center)
Sheldon fumbled the ensuing kickoff at their own 38. Pulu finished off the scoring with a 25-yard TD run three plays later.

With the win Monterey Trail rises their overall record to 3-1, 1-0 in the Delta, while Sheldon falls to 2-2, 0-1 in league play.

This Friday the Huskies host Franklin, who lost their Delta League opener to Grant, 27-0.

Monterey Trail will welcome Pleasant Grove on Friday night.

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