Your defending State Champion Rio Linda Knights put on a second half show Friday night and won their 2019 CIF Sac-Joaquin Section quarterfinal playoff game over the Vanden Vikings, 41-14. This sets up a semi-final versus the Sierra Timberwolves of Manteca, as Sierra won their quarterfinal game Friday night over Atwater, 63-14.
On the Knight’s first possession, at 8:58 of the 1st quarter, QB Abraham Banks salvaged a low, rolling snap and scrambled into the end zone for the Knights first touchdown of the game.
A set of 3 and out series for each team, including a Vanden stopping Rio Linda on a 3rd and 22 deep in Vanden territory resulted in Cameron Skattebo punting the ball into the corner, giving Vanden the ball inside the 5 yard line with 2:33 left in the 1st.
On the following series, Skattebo intercepted an errant throw from Vanden QB Jordan Wollard, ending the quarter with the Knights leading 7-0
With 8:30 to play in the half, the Knights score again, and a 2-point conversion makes the score 15-0 Rio Linda.
Midway through the 2nd quarter, Cameron Skattebo has a touchdown called back on a penalty.
Another Knights interception with 56 seconds to play sets up a touchdown on a 5 yard keeper by Abraham Banks. The PAT was missed, making the score 21-0 Rio Linda.
With 5 seconds to play, on the resulting onside kick, Vanden offensive lineman Devin Adams gathered up the ball and pinballed 55 yards for a touchdown. The halftime horn sounded with Rio Linda leading 21-7.
After halftime, Vanden made a change at QB, as Freshman Tres Dimes started the second half. The adjustment worked out well initially, and Vanden drove the ball effectively to begin the half. The Vikings drove to the 9 yard line and on 4th and 6 Knights Juan Black and Lashawn Collins broke up a pass into the end zone to terminate the ViKings drive. In fact, Vanden took three shots at the endzone to end the drive, but were refused by the Knights defense each time.
At 5:16 of the Third quarter, the Knights had another touchdown called back on a penalty.
With 2:28 to play in the third, Banks found Skattebo on a 5 yard dump pass and #5 would barge into the endzone for another Knights touchdown. 28-7 Knights.
At 43 seconds remaining in the third, Vanden QB Dimes connected with standout RB Malakhi DeMoss for a 40-yard touchdown pass to cut the Rio Linda lead to 28-14. Vanden would attack the Red Zone three more times in the game, but the Knights defense held them scoreless for the balance.
With 9:53 to play, Skattebo would seemingly drag the entire Vanden defence 15 yards into the end zone with him, making the score 35-14.
The final Knights touchdown of the game was a sterling example of the effort this team made throughout the game; With 4:35 to play, Abraham banks received a snap that was two feet above his head. With an outstretched right hand, he jumped up and snagged the ball as if he were playing wide receiver. He then kept the ball and scrambled, shed and avoided tacklers, and turned on the jets for an 80 yard touchdown run along the right sideline.
Final score: Rio Linda 41, Vanden 14.
Rio Linda advances to the section semi-final versus Sierra of Manteca. Game time is 7pm on Friday, November 22nd at Marion Adams field in Rio Linda.
Once again, no broadcast coverage has been scheduled for this game. I will update if that changes.
- The Knights came off the blocks slow, as has been traditional. The first quarter seemed like a feeling out, and was disjointed and had no flow for both teams.
- With 5:47 to play in the first quarter, the Knights had already been penalized three times. The team has been able to overcome their penchant for penalties so far this year, but it’s concerning and it may bite them in the future.
- This is not to say the Knights are completely at fault here. The officiating was some of the most questionable I’ve seen this year.
- During the course of the game, two touchdowns were called back on penalties.
- Injuries are a concern. At one time or another during this game, Skattebo, Banks, linebacker Ben Pau and lineman Eddie Rabuku were each nursing body parts.
- Knights defense really stepped up and played well in this game, particularly in the second half.
- I usually write from a watchback of the game video, but there was no video to watch this week and my notes were sparse. This recap may seem scattered because of that. I pulled info from a lot of different sources to put this together. Next week should be better.
Coach Jack Garceau discussing the situation with the officials.