Bouncing around the high school football regions in a forward lean:
Blazing a new trail: For starters, it’s Monterey Trail — not trails as too many have mistaken, but it was happy trails for the Mustangs of the Elk Grove Unified School District on a historic Friday night.
In as remarkable of a display of ball control and sheer will against such an accomplished program as I’ve seen in my 31 years doing this for The Bee, Monterey Trail stunned top-seeded Folsom 35-23in a Sac-Joaquin Section Division I semifinal.
How the Mustangs did it: Using the split-back veer run game to chew up yards and time. Monterey Trail (12-1) had the ball for 40 minutes and Folsom 8. Monterey Trail ran 84 plays and Folsom 34. Folsom, a seven-time section champion this decade with a NorCal-leading 137 wins since 2010, ran just 10 plays in the second half. Ten!
“In all my years of football, coaching high school, broadcasting it, and watching college ball, I’ve never seen any team do what Monterey Trail just did to such a great team. Just remarkable,” said retired El Camino coach Jim Dimino, who for the past 22 years has been the color voice to play-by-play man Will James on the “Sacramento Hometown Game of the Week” on Access Sacramento TV.
Smash-mouth works: Friday was a refreshing dose of old-school football values for the Mustangs and their throw-back coach T.J. Ewing. The victory was proof that blocking in the trenches and down field, making sound tackles, unleashing the running game and utilizing solid quarterback in Viktor Timonin is the right formula for jamming up dynasties.
Speed kills: Folsom has 11 players with college football scholarship offers. I’m not sure Monterey Trail has any, but there is speed, skill, grit and leadership among the backs in Prophet Brown, Caleb Ramsuer, Chris Lands and playmakers such as Antonio Williams and stoppers such as linebacker Marcus Jones. And the linemen? Trench terrors.
Elk Grove District stands tall: Yeah, they can still play football in the Elk Grove Unified School District, and the spread-formation passing craze has not entirely taken over the planet.
Monterey Trail’s one-time Delta League rival Elk Grove is back in a section final, downing Delta member Cosumnes Oaks 28-20 behind its triple-option rushing attack headed by Carter Harris and Hunter Hall and stressed by coach John Heffernan.
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