Cordova Football Ends Preseason with Victory

Rancho Cordova, CA  |  By Mike Bush
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Alvin Banks Touchdown. Photo by Rick Sloan

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Photo by Rick slaon

Rancho Cordova, CA (MPG) – Three touchdowns set the tone early for the Cordova High School football team in its final pre-season game.

Hosting Foothill at Lancer Stadium on Friday, Sept. 22, the Lancers’ fast start led to corralling the Mustangs 69-36. The victory gives Cordova a 3-2 record going into its bye week.

Lancer quarterback Johnele Sanders scored two of the team’s three touchdowns in the first quarter that led to a 21-0 advantage. The junior scored the first one on a 3-yard run, and toward the end of the quarter, Sanders found wide receiver Alvin Banks on a 44-yard pass for his second TD.

In between Sanders’ scores, Cordova running back Jordan Colvin found the end zone on a 10-yard rushing score halfway through the quarter. Banks scored on a 2-point conversion that gave the Lancers a 21-0 lead.

“We knew that we had some athletes of the field who could take advantage of their defense, and we did,” said Cordova head coach Darren Nill.

After Foothill (1-4) scored its first touchdown in the second quarter, Cordova scored four touchdowns. That included two more touchdown passes from Sanders, in between with running back Raymond Fite completed a 20-yard pass to Banks. Sanders finished the quarter with another touchdown on a 20-yard run.

But the Mustangs galloped to two more touchdowns. But the Lancers held a 47-22 halftime lead.

Both teams were scoreless in the third quarter. Then in the fourth quarter, the Lancers scored three more touchdowns, all on the ground from Banks and Sanders, both of whom combined for eight touchdowns. The Lancers finished with 607 offensive yards; 360 rushing and 247 passing. Cordova is averaging 42.2 points per game.

“If they are going to give us the run, we’re going to take the run,” said Nill of the Mustangs’ defense. “If they are going to give us the pass, we’re going to take the pass … they responded.”

Changes on the offensive line, Nill notes, in recent games has helped shore up the Lancers’ rushing game. That includes some linemen going one way, and allowing those who were playing both sides of the ball to focus on defense.

Sanders completed 15-of-23 passes for 247 yards and three touchdowns. He also had 19 carries for 218 yards. Banks had nine receptions for 221 yards, and made 3-of-4 of the Lancers’ extra-point kicks.

On defense, Cordova inside linebacker Andrew Turner led the team in tackles with eight. Outside linebackers Yusef Pugh and Ryan McMoore had seven tackles each. Pugh had two fumble recoveries, an interception and a quarterback sack, and Colvin, a defensive end, also had a quarterback sack. Banks, who also plays defensive back, also had two picks and linebacker Mason Trujillo also had an interception.

Although Cordova produced a win, the defense has given up an average of 39.4 points per game in five games.

“We have a lot of work,” Nill said. “Coaches are never content, and especially our group. We are nowhere near perfect.”

Now with pre-season in the rear-view mirror, Cordova will set its sights on Sierra Valley Conference action. On Friday, Oct. 6, the Lancers make the Highway 99 trek to the southern part of Sacramento County to play Galt (3-1), which knocked off Mira Loma 38-0 when the Lancers were beating Foothill. The Warriors conclude their preseason hosting Franklin of Stockton this Friday.

Alvin Banks Touchdown. Photo by Rick SloanPhoto by Rick slaonSanders airs it out with a pass. Photo by Rick Sloan