The Honkers had a tough start in Friday’s game against Roseville. But if you were patient enough to stick around, it appeared as if there were two separate games. After going down 14-0 early, Yuba City managed to rally back and win 42-14 on senior night at Honker Stadium.
“Sometimes we’re a little too amped up,” Yuba City head coach Aaron Gingery said. “Once we settled in and did our thing, everything really came together for us and we put up 42 points,” he added.
With just under four minutes to go in the game, Roseville found itself down three possessions, 35-14. Trying to advance the ball down the field quickly, Roseville quarterback Cooper Thompson tried to find an open receiver in the flat, but Yuba City’s Gehrig Larrigan swooped in and snagged the interception to seal the win.
“They switched us to a three-four defense so I got to play linebacker a little bit. I saw a screen pass coming and I just raced to the ball and was fortunate enough to get my hands on it,” Larrigan said.
The first quarter was a defensive battle for field position as both teams forced multiple punts. A few penalties hindered the Honkers’ chances of gaining any serious yardage on offense.
The Tigers were finally able to air the ball out and set themselves up inside the red zone. That’s when Roseville’s running back Tomas Robles put the Tigers on the board first early in the second quarter. After a successful point-after attempt, Roseville led Yuba City 7-0 with 11:55 to go in the first half.
The Honkers needed a spark. But unfortunately for the home crowd, patience would be the name of the game after a fumble hurt their chances on the ensuing drive. With adequate field position Roseville marched down again and scored on a screen pass to wide out Tanner Rubey.
Down 14-0 with 9:59 left in the first half, Yuba City’s Erik Palmquist knew his offense was running out of time to get things going.
After a 40-yard rush by Palmquist, Honkers’ running back Takeshi Faupula put the home team on the board. With 7:17 left in the second quarter Roseville remained in the lead, 14-7.
“Once we start getting on a roll it’s sort of like a snowball effect for our offense,” Faupula said. “Our O-line did a great job tonight, there were a couple holes big enough to drive cars through,” he added gleefully.
The Honkers defense started to feel the momentum too and buckled down, forcing Roseville to punt. That’s when Faupula went back to work, this time setting up Palmquist for his touchdown run; heading into halftime both teams were all tied up 14-14.
The two scores before half were just a glimpse of what Yuba City put together in the second half. It was a simple game plan, hand the ball off to Faupula and let him run to his heart’s content.
The elusive back would add three more scores in the second half, with one run coming from 33 yards out.
“I can’t say enough about the way he played tonight, our offensive line helped him out, but he really turned it on and I couldn’t be prouder,” Gingery said.
While it may have been easy to get lost in the way Yuba City’s offense played in the second half, the Honkers’ defense also stepped it up.
Defensive lineman Mario Perez was able to capitalize on a busted play by Roseville when he recovered a fumble to give Yuba City’s offense prime field position that would later end in a Faupula score.
“We just have to keep working hard towards our end goal, these games are really meaningful in terms of home field advantage in the playoffs,” Gingery said.
Yuba City (5-3) will travel to Inderkum (8-0) next week.