Wildcats gear up for Quarry Bowl on, off the field


Varsity football players Nick Eaton, Michael Hamp and Justin Kraft grab food at the team dinner the night before the Quarry Bowl. Photo by Morgan Hawkins

Counting down until game time, varsity football captain Matt Chaffin, alongside his team, steps onto campus with the determination to take on the Thunder in the seventh annual Quarry Bowl. The team will take the field at 7:30 p.m. in the Rocklin stadium Sept. 9.

Offensively, through the first two games, both teams have dominant wide receivers. Trey Overton leads the Thunder with 128 receiving yards and one touchdown, while the Wildcats’ Justin Kraft has racked up 242 receiving yards and three touchdowns.

On the defensive side of the ball, both teams have been stingy, the Thunder giving up an average of 18.5 point per game, the Wildcats only 10.5. Rocklin comes into the game at No. 11 in the Sac-Joaquin Section, despite having lost week one to No. 9 Grant. The maroon and gold sit at No. 7 with no losses on the season so far.

This rivalry game encourages the community to come together as one, widely known as a big city event which sells out every year; however, Head Coach Paul Doherty and the team treat it like another interleague game.

“Everyone makes a big deal out of this game, but I see it as just another game. We need to prioritize bigger events like winning a league title because those are things that don’t happen every year,” Doherty said.

Doherty is making sure his players do not stray from the principles they are taught to go by when it comes to every game.

“Every game we have three major goals to accomplish: be a team, be the most exciting team to play and do the best at our job,” Doherty said.

Doherty tells his team to focus on what the team needs, rather that what Rocklin might be doing.Kraft focuses on his specific goals like the rest of his team.

“Our biggest challenge is ourselves. If we stick to what we do, execute, and pick each other up, we will be just fine. However Rocklin is a well-coached, disciplined team and are good in space on the field,” Kraft said.

Just as Kraft has done analysis on Rocklin’s team over the past week, Thunder linebacker Blayden Brown has familiarized himself with his opponent.

“By watching film, we now know we will have to respond to how Whitney does a no-huddle offense and make sure we don’t get tired keeping up,” Brown said.

In Quarry Bowl history, Rocklin leads the series 4-2.