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Elk Grove Citizen

Rams score season-high in win at Mesa Verde

Oct 21, 2022 12:00AM ● By By Shaun Holkko, sports editor

Dixon senior running back Braden Baumbach rushes for a first down during a 21-18 win against Pioneer on October 13 in Dixon. The Rams won on the road at Mesa Verde on Thursday, October 20 by a score of 60-27. Photo by Nicolas Brown

CITRUS HEIGHTS, CA (MPG) – After allowing an opening-drive touchdown to Mesa Verde, the No. 25 Dixon Rams outscored the Mavericks 60-20 in route to a one-sided victory.

The game took place at San Juan High School, as Mesa Verde’s new sports complex is currently under construction. The Rams executed in all three phases Thursday, scoring at least one touchdown on offense, defense and special teams, respectively.

With a win next week at Casa Roble, Dixon (8-1, 4-0 Golden Empire League) will repeat as champions of the GEL. The Mavericks (5-4, 0-4 GEL) began the season with five wins in a row but have since gone winless with four straights defeats in league play.

On an evening that Mesa Verde was celebrating its seniors, the Mavericks were able to score first. Senior Jermaine Johnson rushed in from 12-yards out for the opening touchdown about two minutes in. Nearly a minute later, Dixon senior quarterback Jett Harris found senior wide receiver Luis Torres for a 60-yard strike. The Rams rushed for the two-point conversion and were successful, giving Dixon a one-point advantage, a lead that the Rams never let go of.

RELATED: Dixon earns pivotal win over Pioneer on Senior Night

Harris found Torres again a minute later, this time on a 40-yard pass that went for six. Harris scored the next touchdown with his legs, rushing in from eight yards out. With two minutes left in the first, Harris completed a 67-yard touchdown pass to junior wideout Jordan Sengmany. Dixon led 29-7 after 12 minutes of play.

Mesa Verde cut into its deficit with a two-yard rushing touchdown from junior Ryan Jorgensen halfway through the second period. Harris then found Torres a minute later for a 25-yard touchdown toss. Torres scored the next Rams’ touchdown with his legs, rushing 50 yards into the end zone. Dixon held a controlling 43-14 lead at halftime.

The versatile Torres, who plays on offense, defense and special teams, opened the second half scoring with a field goal, not to mention that he nailed all five of his extra-point kicks in the first half. The Mavericks scored six minutes later with a 30-yard rush from Johnson.

The Rams scored their next touchdown on a 70-yard punt return from junior wide receiver Easton Valenzuela. The defense got involved after that, as junior outside linebacker Tyler Morey returned a fumble 45 yards for the score, which ultimately was Dixon’s final scoring play of the game. Torres was 7-for-7 on point after tries.

Three minutes into the fourth quarter, Mesa Verde scored its final points of the game on a 40-yard pass from Jorgensen to Johnson for the score. However, the two-point conversion failed. Dixon went on to win 60-27.

RELATED: Rams avenge loss to Woodland

Harris completed 14-of-22 pass attempts for 319 yards and four touchdowns. Harris’ lone rushing attempt went for the eight-yard score. Torres had a game-high five receptions for 151 yards and three touchdowns through the air and one rush for 50 yards and a score on the ground. Sengmany finished with two catches for 79 yards and a touchdown.

On defense, senior middle linebacker Matthew Whitaker had a team-high nine tackles, followed by six teammates who had at least five. Seniors, defensive tackle Cole Hensley and defensive end Elijah Hairston, each had one sack. Seniors, free safety Brent Green and linebacker Braden Baumbach, recorded one interception a piece. Junior defensive end Zachary Hodel forced the fumble that Morey picked up and took to the house.

Next Friday in Orangevale, Dixon will play Casa Roble in a Battle of the Rams which will likely be for the GEL crown. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.