Enterprise staff writer
With more than 1,700 yards rushing and only 422 passing, the mysterious Elk Grove football team seems like a one-trick pony.
Taking a closer look, thereÕs little wonder why the scheme is one-dimensional Ñ Davis HighÕs Friday night opponent sports a massive front line, so why wouldnÕt The Thundering Herd (3-5) keep it on the ground? Especially against a smallish Blue Devil squad that is coming off a 56-0 pounding by Grant.
While not quite the 300-pound-plus average of the Pacers, Elk GroveÕs offensive front features Colin Mierczynski (300 pounds), Pedro Avalos (260), Walsai Tautuiaki (260), Steven Moore (6-foot-6, 265) and tight ends Rasjon Miles (6-4, 270) and Josh Letuligasenoa (6-2, 225).
With running backs Deon Ransom (775 yards) and Robert Frazier (647), the Herd will look to repeat the 357-yard ground game it fashioned in last yearÕs 41-24 victory over DHS.
Close to Halloween, it seems appropriate that the Blue Devils are getting a visit from the Jekyll and Hyde of Delta Valley Conference football.
Elk GroveÕs season started promisingly with three wins in four outings. But the HerdÕs opponents in those games now are only 7-25.
A 28-0 loss to Nevada Union (4-4) and a 61-7 pasting by Grant got experts thinking they had figured out Elk Grove: a not-so-hot team.
Then, out of nowhere, comes a one-point loss (29-28) to unbeaten Franklin and a solid game against playoff-bound Monterey Trail last week. Elk Grove lost just 28-21.
Under third-year coach Chris Nixon, Elk Grove has fallen upon mediocre times.
Sporting a 13-16 mark since longtime mentor David Hoskins left after a 12-1 season in 2007, Friday night is a chance for Nixon to get closer to .500 and take some of the heat off his tenure.
So whatÕs it gonna be Friday?
You can bet the ranch that the Herd will saddle up Ransom and Frazier to ride behind its avalanche-size offensive line.
When the Blue Devils have the ball they will be asked to figure out ways to avoid defensive back Chris Edwards and Letuligasenoa, who can play down lineman and linebacker. With 60 tackles and two interceptions, Letuligasenoa is clearly the heart of the Elk Grove defense.
Davis has dropped all four DVC matchups with The Herd, including 19-7 (in 2008), 38-14 (2007) and 49-26 (2006) decisions.
Notes: With six high schools in the Elk Grove Unified School, the attendance policy is such that families may choose which school a child will attend. Thanks to the regionÕs explosion of population, the days in which the Herd dominated leagues in the Big Three sports are long gone. Only in baseball does EGHS still send chills up the backs of opponents. … Both teams sport 0-3 league records. Game time is 7:15 p.m., but Senior Night ceremonies are planned.
ÑÊReach Bruce Gallaudet at firstname.lastname@example.org or (530) 747-8056. Comment on this story at www.davisenterprise.com