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Pleasant Grove runs over Roseville 63-14

By: Bill Poindexter/Roseville Press Tribune Sports Editor
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Roseville High School's bye week couldn't come at a better time.

After the way Friday night's 63-14 loss to Pleasant Grove went, the Tigers can use the extra week of preparation for their Sierra Foothill League opener Oct. 7 at Woodcreek.

The Eagles (4-1), ranked eighth in one national preseason poll, scored four touchdowns in the first nine minutes on runs of 51, 83 and 21 yards and a 34-yard interception return to open a 28-0 lead at Sheldon High School.

The Tigers (3-2) were outgained 190-16 in the first quarter and 457-280 for the game. Pleasant Grove sophomore Brandon Lewis had the 83-yard run and 34-yard pick six. He scored on a 38-yard run in the second half and rushed for 151 yards in five carries. Mark Jenkins, who torched Roseville for eight touchdowns last season, carried 19 times for 118 yards and scored on runs of 21, eight and 17 yards.

The Eagles intercepted Roseville quarterback Zac Cunha four times, two of which they tipped first. And yes, 6-foot-7, 285-pound USC commit Arik Armstead is still as good as he was last season.

Roseville senior Casey Lambert, held to minus-two yards in his first four carries, went on to assemble a 23-carry, 124-yard night, and his four-yard touchdown put the Tigers on the board with 1:27 left in the first half. Lambert also had his helmet knocked off three times by the Eagles, who hit hard and swarmed the ball from sideline to sideline.

"We gotta execute a heck of a lot better," Roseville coach Larry Cunha said. "It starts up front, but it goes throughout offensively and defensively. They beat us up front, and it mushroomed from there. That was the starting point and the ending point. They have a heck of a good football team, absolutely. We can play a little better, but we certainly didn't play that way (Friday night). So give Pleasant Grove 90 percent of the credit, and we'll take 10 percent of the blame for not performing."

Roseville's first eight possessions ended in a punt, a blocked 37-yard field goal attempt (after Brad Palitti's fumble recovery on the Pleasant Grove 22-yard line), another punt, three consecutive interceptions and two more punts before Lambert scored.

The Tigers opened the second half by driving from their 20 into Pleasant Grove territory. The march included a 48-yard toss from Cunha to Cody Lindner, but a holding penalty, back-to-back incompletions and a three-yard loss left Roseville with a fourth and 25 at the 35, and Cunha's 17-yard sideline completion to Trevor Meyling wasn't enough. The Eagles scored six plays later on a 48-yard run by Isaiah Saunders to pull further ahead 56-7.

Jenkins intercepted Cunha six plays later and scored on a 17-yard run on the second play of the final quarter to give Pleasant Grove a 63-7 lead. The Eagles have scored 203 points in three games since losing to Stockton-Lincoln 50-49 in the Battle at the Capital.

"Casey ran hard. Unfortunately, we couldn't do a whole lot," Larry Cunha said. "We'll try to fix some of our faults. There's quite a few to fix. We'll try to get healthy a little bit and see if we're closer to healthy come Woodcreek week."

Pleasant Grove 63, Roseville 14

Roseville              0     7    0   7 -- 14
Pleasant Grove   28   21   7   7 -- 63

PG - Serne 51 run (White kick)
PG - Lewis 83 run (White kick)
PG - Jenkins 21 run (White kick)
PG - Lewis 34 interception return (White kick)
PG - Jenkins 8 run (White kick)
PG - Dunn 53 pass from C. Demps (White kick)
PG - Lewis 38 run (White kick)
Rose - Lambert 4 run (Torres kick)
PG - Saunders 48 run (White kick)
PG - Jenkins 17 run (White kick)
Rose - Lindner 9 pass from Cunha (Torres kick)

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING-Roseville, Lambert 23-124, Cunha 5-26. Pleasant Grove, Jenkins 19-118, Lewis 5-151, Saunders 5-64, Serne 3-56, Durant 1-3, C. Demps 1-1, Willhite 1-0.
PASSING-Roseville, Cunha 9-28-4, 130. Pleasant Grove, C. Demps 3-5-0, 64.
RECEIVING-Roseville Lindner 5-81, Meyling 2-27, Butler 2-22. Pleasant Grove, Dunn 1-53, Hikutini 1-10, Saunders 1-1.