Football: El Mo rolls past Lower Lake 28-6

Lower Lake halfback Mason Sanders (10) gets swept off his feet by El Molino defensive back Eddie Taylor (8) during their game in  Forestville on Friday night. (ALVIN JORNADA / For The Press Democrat)

Lower Lake halfback Mason Sanders (10) gets swept off his feet by El Molino defensive back Eddie Taylor (8) during their game in Forestville on Friday night.
(ALVIN JORNADA / For The Press Democrat)

BY RICHARD J. MARCUS
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

FORESTVILLE —  El Molino relied on a balanced offensive attack and four touchdown passes from quarterback Steve Mori to defeat visiting Lower Lake 28-6 on Friday night in a nonleague game.

The smaller Lions (2-0) spread the field offensively and successfully neutralized the Trojans’ (0-1) big and physical defensive front.

“Their (Lower Lake) defensive linemen were monsters. They were difficult to deal with,” El Molino coach Randy Parmeter said. “We were trying to run around them and not run up the middle so as to take away their strength.”

The strategy primarily worked as El Molino’s spread running game and quick slant passing attack found holes in the Lower Lake (0-1) defense.

“Lower Lake had a great defensive line but my offensive line did the work for us tonight and I was able to get stuff done,” Mori said. “Our defense did better than I expected. This night was awesome, I couldn’t be happier.”

Mori (11 for 22 passing, 166 yards, 4 touchdowns) connected on scoring passes of 13 yards to Garrett Anderson in the first quarter and 33 yards to Lani Gaspar in the second quarter to give El Molino a 14-0 lead at halftime. Gaspar made the grab, executed a quick spin move to shake a nearby defender and raced 25-yards down the sideline for the score.

“Gaspar is a very athletic kid,” Parmeter said.

“El Molino’s receivers made some big plays,” added Lower Lake coach Justin Gaddy.

Lower Lake did itself no favors in the first half by raking up a staggering 11 penalties for 85 yards (14 penalties for 105 yards for the game). In the first half the Trojans were flagged for five false starts, two holding infractions, two pass interferences, one illegal motion and one roughing the passer penalty. Remarkably, Lower Lake had five penalties in a span of seven plays on one offensive drive late in the second half.

“With that number of penalties and our not scoring points it’s tough to win,” Gaddy said. “We have got to score because our offensive line was working hard.”

El Molino (three penalties for 30 yards) had a slight execution advantage having played last week while Lower Lake was idle.

The offensive penalties disrupted continuity and flow from several Trojan drives in the first half.

“Lower Lake kept trying to go on the second count snap and it didn’t work out for them,” Parmeter said.

In addition to the penalties, Lower Lake had four turnovers (two fumbles, two interceptions). The Trojans ground game chewed up yards behind the stewardship of quarterback Isazah King (16 rushes for 169 yards), but with all the miscues the Trojans were never able to punch it into the end zone on offense.

“Our defense did a great job considering the athletes that Lower Lake has,” Parmeter said. “We did a good job of containing them.”

Lower Lake made a game of it on the first play of the fourth quarter with a 42-yard punt return for a score by King to narrow the El Molino lead to 14-6 after the failed extra point. King slipped away from numerous Lions tacklers in traffic during the scoring run.

El Molino, however, regained command with two touchdowns in a three-minute span midway through the fourth quarter for the 28-6 final. Mori connected with receiver Bryce Miller who jumped over a Trojan cornerback to haul in a 27-yard touchdown pass. Mori then iced things with a 13-yard touchdown pass to Zach Gevas.

“El Molino is a good team and this was good competition for us in the pre-season which is what we wanted,” Gaddy said.

The Lions’ senior Eddie Taylor had 17 carries for 91 yards. He didn’t play in his junior year.

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