Folsom advances to face Herd

By: Matt Long Telegraph Sports Editor
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Folsom’s high-powered offense will face its toughest test on Friday when they travel to Elk Grove. The Thundering Herd, the No. 2 seed and unbeaten at 12-0, features a defense that has allowed only 92 points this season for an average of less than eight points per game. Folsom is averaging 42 points per game. “Elk Grove probably has one of the fastest defenses we’ll see this year,” Folsom coach Kris Richardson said. “They’re not the biggest so I’m not worried about being overpowered, but they rally to the ball and their quickness is impressive.” If Folsom is to beat the Herd, they’ll have to find a way to deal with that speed. On the other side of the ball, Elk Grove has a different philosophy. “On offense they have their biggest guys and they want to overpower you,” Richardson said. “They have two really big tackles, the left tackle as good as any out there and the right tackle is a big, strong guy. They’ve got three great running backs and they want to run the football on you. They want to hammer you. It’s not the first team we’ve seen a team like that.” The Bulldogs are coming off an impressive 45-14 win over third-seeded Inderkum. Folsom took advantage of an Inderkum turnover and led 14-0 early on their way to a big win where the team played exceptional defense. “I’m thrilled to death with the way the defense played,” Richardson said. “It’s a great accomplishment to almost shutout Inderkum, who was averaging close to 400 yards rushing and 40 points a game.” Folsom is peaking at the right time, as their two playoffs wins are arguably the team’s best all-around performances this season. It sets what should be a great battle on Friday in Elk Grove. “My hope is the people in Folsom come down and support us,” Richardson said. “It should be a heck of a game.” Bulldogs silence Inderkum, advance to section semis with 45-14 win Folsom’s football team knew they had to stop a tenacious run game from the Inderkum Tigers, who averaged more than 350 yards on the ground and carried a 10-game win streak into the quarterfinals of the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs on Friday night in Natomas. The Bulldogs executed their game plan to perfection, nearly cutting the Tigers’ rushing yards-per-game average in half, as they handed Inderkum a 45-14 loss to move on to the D-II semifinals. “We knew that we had to slow their run game. We felt that if we played like we were supposed to, hitting our keys and being physical up front, then we could stop it. We got stops all night, got a key turnover early and executed on offense,” said Richardson. The first half was all Bulldogs. Folsom scored two touchdowns before Inderkum got to run its first offensive play. The opening drive saw Folsom go 80 yards on seven plays, capped off by a Troy Knox 25-yard reception. Inderkum fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Folsom recovered inside the red zone, allowing Tanner Trosin to connect with J’Juan Muldrow on the next play for a quick 14-0 lead. Trosin later hooked up with Doug Vernon from 49 yards out before Folsom pulled some offensive trickery out of its sleeve for the next score. On the first play of the second quarter, fourth-and-two, Trosin pitched it to the right to Muldrow, who then stopped and threw the ball downfield to Carson McMurtrey for a 36-yard score to give Folsom a 28-0 advantage. “I just did what my coach asked me to do and my night went pretty smooth,” said the do-it-all back Muldrow, who compiled 189 yards from scrimmage and had a 40-yard interception return that allowed Folsom to tack on more points before the first half ended. The Bulldogs had Inderkum visibly frustrated after Muldrow caught a 70-yard pass that set up his own run from three yards out with 4:36 left in the second quarter. Sophomore Ben Trumm connected on a 27-yard field goal as time expired in the first half to put Folsom up 38-6. With a 32-point lead at the intermission, Folsom didn’t need to do much offensively in the second half. After the Tigers turned the ball over on downs on the first drive of the third quarter, Trosin led the Bulldogs to the end zone on a one-yard keeper during a nine-play, 38-yard drive. Trosin finished the evening 17-of-23 for 306 yards and three TDs passing while rushing eight times for 44. Richardson said that he was pretty sure his quarterback had broken the state record for total offense in a season in Friday night’s contest. “Tanner is the best player in the state, in my opinion,” said Richardson, who also noted that his team is beginning to hit its stride when it counts. “We’re peaking at the right time. When our defense gets stops and our offense is executing, we’re pretty tough to beat,” he said. Nick Pecoraro contributed to this story.