Folsom overpowers young Whitney team, 63-7By: Matt Long, Sports Editor
In the Sierra Foothill League, there couldn’t be two teams much different than Folsom and Whitney.
The Bulldogs are 3-0 in league and 6-1 overall , and return 14 starters on one of the top teams in the state. The Wildcats are 0-4 in the league and have yet to win a game in seven attempts under first-year head coach Zac McNally, who is excited to build a program at Whitney. The Wildcats feature only three starting seniors and had 13 players out injured coming into the game.
The final score of Friday night’s game showed that difference, as Folsom scored the first nine times it had the ball en route to a 63-7 win.
“We’re taking our lumps, but they’re not in vain,” McNally said before the game. “There have been a lot of teachable and coachable moments. The kids are learning the physical and mental toughness needed to play in the Sierra Foothill League. More has been demanded of them than ever before. The future is something we’re building toward.”
McNally wanted his team, first and foremost, to compete hard and be fearless against the Bulldogs. He wanted his players to cut it loose and enjoy the opportunity of playing one of the best teams in the state. The Wildcats did what they could, but could only manage three first downs in seven possessions in the first half.
The Bulldogs, meanwhile, scored eight touchdowns in the first half. Quarterback Kaiden Bennett completed 13-of-17 passes for 269 yards and six touchdowns, two each to CJ Hutton, Joe Ngata and Elijhah Badger. Hutton caught four balls for 58 yards; Ngata made four catches for 96 yards, while Badger hauled in three catches for 46 yards, all for touchdowns, the final one which was thrown by Jake Reithmeier just before halftime.
Whitney crossed midfield for the first time late in the first half and made it to the five-yard line. Once there, quarterback Robert Jones was hit while throwing a pass into the end zone and was picked off by Matthew Simon, who returned the ball 101 yards for a touchdown.
Daniyel Ngata took the opening kickoff of the second half 90 yards for Folsom’s final score. Whitney finally got on the scoreboard just past the midpoint of the third quarter with a defensive touchdown, as Zach Chaffin intercepted a pass and returned it 40 yards for a score.
“We did a great job,” Folsom coach Kris Richardson said. “We executed well. We knew Whitney was down, but it’s about us, as we are striving for improvement. Everyone also got to play, which was big.”