Varsity football to duel with Rocklin in sixth annual Quarry Bowl


Hunter Rodrigues drops back for a pass in practice. Photo by Megan Green.

Back-to-back Sacramento Bee Prep Football Player of The Week nominee Hunter Rodrigues and his Wildcats will take on four-time Quarry Bowl champions, the Rocklin Thunder, in this sixth annual rivalry game on Sept. 11. The game is at Wildcat Stadium this year and the team will try to use this to the home field advantage to pick up their second win of the season, and in Quarry Bowl history.

In their first two games, both teams have made a statement with explosive offensive play — Rocklin averages 58.5 points a game, while Whitney isn’t far behind with 55.5.

At the helm of each offense are senior quarterbacks with section-leading stat lines. The Thunder’s Will Floyd has amassed 476 passing yards and eight touchdowns, but that’s not enough to match Rodrigues’ 818 yards and 13 scores. Whitney’s quarterback has also put up significant numbers carrying the ball, with 247 yards and two touchdowns. Rodrigues not only leads the section and state in total offensive yards per game, but is fourth in the nation with 532.5 on average.

On the defensive side of the ball, Rocklin outshines Whitney on paper having given up just 49 total points to the Wildcats’ 71.

Even so, coach Paul Doherty is confident his team will be able to handle the Thunder on Friday.

“Rocklin’s a good team, a good program, but I think we’ve played some good teams already and we’re improving week to week, so it’s nothing new,” Doherty said.

In preparation for this matchup, Doherty has worked with his quarterback in practice, but Rodrigues has taken it upon himself to get ready off the field as well.

“Outside of practice, I have watched a lot of film and studied their defense so I know what to expect on Friday,” Rodrigues said.

Although he has put in the hours, Rodrigues knows there will still be difficulties getting past the Thunder defense.

“The biggest challenge will be to just take what the defense gives us and not try to score fast every single drive. We’ll need to be patient and just execute our game plan,” Rodrigues said.

The varsity game will kick off Friday at 7:30 p.m.