Local Powers Monterey Trail, Elk Grove in Classic Runfest
by Will James
If you enjoy the sophisticated elements of football’s running game, then this is the ideal match-up for you to see on Access Sacramento‘s Hometown Sports Game of the Week. The #7-seeded Monterey Trail Mustangs (7-5), featuring their potent Veer offense crafted by founding Head Coach T.J. Ewing collides with the #6-seeded Elk Grove Thundering Herd (8-3) which employs its exciting Triple Option offense designed by Head Coach John Heffernan.
This live telecast begins at 7:00 p.m. Friday evening with a pre-game run-up starting at 6:30 p.m. The game may be seen in Sacramento County on Comcast or Consolidated Communications Cable channel 17, and AT&T U-Verse channel 14. The game will also be streamed live on the NFHS Network.
These two highly successful coaches utilize a bare minimum of passing, yet both regularly demonstrate high scoring capability. To consider their run-heavy offense as boring is a major mistake. Recent testimony to validate this fact are the season scoring averages of 40.1 for Ewing’s Mustangs, and 40.3 for Heffernan’s Thundering Herd. Both offenses are designed to suddenly break big plays for long yardage with long touchdown runs.
At the helm for the Mustangs is capable senior Quarterback Frank Arcuri whose brigade of outstanding running backs is led by formidable junior Ali Collier who has amassed 1345 yds. and 21 TDs. The Mustangs boast five other backs who have rushed for better than 400 yards, including impressive junior Daelin Ellis (531 yds., 11 TD). Top defenders for the Mustangs are defensive linemen Marcus Perkins and Melikai Red, Linebackers Tanaki Tonga and Fatafehi Puloka; a group that has registered 302 tackles and 13 sacks.
Regulating the throttle for the Thundering Herd offense is senior quarterback Ethan Archuleta, whose quick feet and blurring speed have accounted for 1451 yards. and 18 TDs. The Herd’s go-to back is imposing, burly Zeke Burnett who has pounded opponents for 1325 yards and 26 TDs. The Herd’s defense is led by defensive lineman Soni Finau, linebackers Isea Liu and Pita Vi and defensive back Gio Bellecci who have combined for 186 Tackles and 21 Sacks.
The stage is set for the ultimate display of running attacks, so if you’re unable to run to the stadium and see the game in person, then run to your favorite easy chair and dial in this event on Access Sacramento’s Hometown Sports Game of the Week.