Knightline

Knights host Center in Home Football Opener

The State Champion Rio Linda Knights will open the 2019 football season at home on Friday August 23rd against the Center Cougars.

Last season, the Knights dropped the opener 40-26 to the Cougars.

Rio Linda returns 21 players on the 41 player roster from last year’s championship team, including standout running back Cameron Skattebo.

Skattebo, who was one of only nine players in the nation to run for over 3,000 yards in 2018, returns as the 2018 Foothill Valley League Most Valuable Player, the 2018 Sac-Joaquin Section Offensive MVP and the SportStars magazine 2019 Pre-Season All NorCal. Last year he posted 3,788 yards with 48 touchdowns, leading the State in both categories. This year he returns with an additional 100 lbs. on his squat weight, a 300 yard-per-game goal in mind, and a burning desire to repeat as State Champion.

Having lost quarterback Tyson Ybarra to graduation, the Knights will look to Abraham Banks to distribute the ball this year. Coming back for a third year on the Varsity team, Banks had 1037 combined yards with 14 touchdowns last year. He also returned kicks for over 700 yards. He is a nimble, explosive runner, and will be a joy to watch in the option package. He will give opposing defenses fits trying to decide where to focus.

Also returning are fullback Jamone Gates, WR/QB Kyle Deloney-Spencer, WR Johnny Serrano, and OL Eddie Rabuku, all of 4 inches and 60 lbs bigger in his senior year.

I could spotlight standout players all day. The gist is that the core of the 2018 Championship team is intact and they are hungry for more in 2019. Expectations are high around town, but no higher than they have set for themselves.

The Center High School Cougars come into 2019 with a bad taste in their mouths, having posted an 8-4 record and losing to Bear River in the second round of the D5 playoffs.

Double threat QB Michael Wortham brings his pinpoint passing accuracy back for a third year of Varsity play. Last year, he went 119 for 187 passing, with 1629 yards and 26 touchdowns with only 7 interceptions. He also carried the ball for over 600 yards.

Another opening day win over the champion Knights would set the Cougars up with a shot of confidence to begin the 2019 campaign.

Rio Linda Online will be on the sidelines, posting updates to Facebook and Twitter, and occasional livecasting. Come out tomorrow and join us in supporting our champions.

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