Cordova Football Preparing for SVC Opener

Rancho Cordova, CA  |  By Mike Bush
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Cordova running back Raymond Fite (12) finds room to run against Foothill during a non-conference game at Lancer Stadium on Sept. 22nd. This Friday, Rite and the Lancers open SVC action at Galt. Photo by Rick Sloan

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Cordova running back Chase Allen (with ball) races past three Foothill players during a non-conference home game at Lancer Stadium on Sept. 22nd. Allen and the Lancers open SVC action at Galt on Oct. 6th. Photo by Rick sloan

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) – For three days during its bye last week, the Cordova High School football team broke away from its weekly game preparation.

“We concentrated on heavy fundamentals instead of game prep,” said Cordova head coach Darren Nill, “and it’s always nice to refocus and put an emphasis on (the basics) in the middle of the season.”

Now with its pre-season in the rear view mirror, Cordova (3-2) opens Sierra Valley Conference play at Galt (3-2) on Oct. 6th. Last Friday, Franklin beat Galt 34-28 in overtime in a non-conference game on the Erv Hatzenbuhler Field at Warrior Stadium in Galt. The host Warriors and the Stockton school traded scores that led to a 28-28 tie after four quarters. The visiting Yellowjackets scored the winning touchdown on their first offensive possession in overtime after the Warriors had limited success to move the ball from Franklin’s 10-yard line. The football is placed on an opponent’s 10-yard line when a game is sent into overtime.

Cordova will be facing a Galt squad that still runs the I formation, but also spreads out the offense. The Warriors have used many players to score on both sides of the ball this season, and were just plays away from beating Franklin.

“We control our own destiny as we go out and do what we need to do,” Nill said. “It doesn’t matter what anybody else does.”

Cordova won a share of the SVC title with Liberty Ranch and El Dorado last season. But this season, the Lancers, plus Galt, Rosemont, El Dorado, Union Mine and Liberty Ranch are opening new chapters entering conference play on the same page. El Dorado is 3-2, while Rosemont and Union Mine are 2-3 and Liberty Ranch 1-4.

“I think anybody can beat anybody in the SVC,” Nill said. “We are all very competitive, evenly matched. We’re not taking any game lightly.”

In its first five non-conference games this season, Cordova’s offense has been led by junior quarterback Johnele Sanders, who has completed 74-of-206 passes for 1,233 yards and 14 touchdowns. He also leads the team in rushing at 416 yards and six mores touchdowns. Running backs Raymond Fite and Alvin Banks, both juniors, have rushed for 143 and 122 yards respectively.

Banks have proven to be a multi-threat for the Lancers on offense. He leads the team in receiving with 33 receptions for 788 yards and 11 touchdowns. Fite has 125 yards and Jeremiah Bankett 107.

On defense, Lancer outside linebacker Ryan McMoore leads the team in tackles at 50, and another outside linebacker in Yusef Pugh follows at 48. Linebacker Elijah Jenkins is next at 45, and free safety Tyreke Tate has 42.