Pleasant Grove 42, Nevada Union 15
Granite Bay 14, Cosumnes Oaks 11
Bradshaw Christian 35, De Anza 14
Grant 55, Fresno Central 7
Bellarmine 42, Franklin 0
Antelope 28, Sheldon 7
Christian Bros. 48, Laguna Creek 8
Monterey Trail 24, Merced 7
Natomas 42, Valley 24
Jason Rossow won his first game as head football coach at Pleasant Grove High School Friday night, a little more than a year later than he really wanted.
It was on the first day of pre-season drills in August of 2014 that the new coach told his team he had been diagnosed with a brain tumor and was going to have to undergo surgery right away. Rossow’s friend and assistant coach Russ Gardner had to take over the head coaching reigns and the Eagles were a disappointing 3-7.
On Friday Rossow was back on the sidelines in Pleasant Grove’s home opener and watched his club force five turnovers and defeat Nevada Union, 42-15.
|Jason Rossow during pregame drills.
“I feel great, the tumor is shrinking, we’re kicking this cancer’s ass and I couldn’t be happier with the support from this program, these coaches and my family,” he said.
When asked about what he thought about coaching win number one coming when it finally did, Rossow was a bit speechless. After pausing to think about it, he gave his players credit for sticking with him for as long as they have.
“Ultimately I am all about the kids and I am so proud these players,” Rossow said. “They endured such a tough year last year. Coming back like they did during this off-season and after last week’s game to come out and fight, I am so happy for them.”
In the week zero opener, the Eagles were drubbed at Rocklin, 56-14.
Rossow says he’s feeling great now and looks forward to a few more wins this fall.
“For myself, it’s a great feeling to be back out here coaching Friday nights,” he said. “Being an Elk Grove guy, the rivalry we’ve had (with Nevada Union) we always love playing them. They are a great program. We’ll take any win right now knowing what we have.”
Eagle quarterback Jake Ford hooked up with Dawson Weber on a 75-yard bomb in the first quarter to knot up the game at seven apiece. Nevada Union put together its only impressive drive of the game on its first possession to take an early lead, but sputtered the rest of the night.
|Darren Chism (#18) is congratulated after scoring his second TD of the night
Meanwhile, the Eagles (1-1) became opportunists in a big way to pull away from the Miners (0-2) in the first half.
Daniel Enriquez’ interception at the NU 33 gave Pleasant Grove great field possession moments after Ford’s bomb to Weber. Ford once again hit Weber on a 12-yard strike to take the lead for good at 14-7.
A minute later Eagle’s safety Dom Johnson scooped up loose ball and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown to hand PG a 21-7 lead.
Enriquez picked up another interception late in the second quarter at his own eight-yard line to end a Nevada Union scoring threat.
In the third quarter Gregory Eason recovered another Nevada Union fumble and a couple plays later Darren Chism scored on a 19-yard run to make it 28-7, Pleasant Grove.
Reserve quarterback Marco Baldacchino came in to spell Ford late in the third quarter and fooled the Miner defense with run-option keeper that worked for a 77-yard touchdown and extent the Eagles lead to 35-7.
Chism tacked on another TD in the fourth quarter following Bobby Singh’s interception.
But, Rossow liked what he saw on special teams.
“Lowell Spore had a great game on special teams, flying down the field,” Rossow said. “Overall I think we did really well defensively. The (offensive) line was phenomenal tonight. They are the key to what we do and they were outstanding.”