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Elk Grove Citizen

Rams win at Pioneer to set up showdown for GEL crown

Oct 22, 2022 12:00AM ● By By Shaun Holkko, sports editor

Casa Roble junior wide receiver Evan Combs scores an 18-yard touchdown during a 28-12 victory at Pioneer on Friday, October 21 in Woodland. Photo by Tim Engle

Rams win at Pioneer to set up showdown for GEL crown [4 Images] Click Any Image To Expand

WOODLAND, CA (MPG) – The No. 15 Casa Roble varsity football team won its eighth game in a row on Friday night at Pioneer to set up a showdown for the Golden Empire League championship.

The Rams (8-1, 4-0 GEL) defeated the Patriots (6-3, 2-2 GEL) 28-12 and will now play Dixon (8-1, 4-0 GEL) at home for the league title this upcoming Friday, October 28.

“The boys are one step closer to our goal of a league title,” Casa coach Chris Horner told the American River Messenger. “They played extremely well against Pioneer, it was a big win for us.”

Casa led 7-0 at halftime Friday night in what was a competitive first 24 minutes of action. The lone score of the first half came in the opening quarter as sophomore quarterback Connor Campbell completed an 18-yard pass to junior wide receiver Evan Combs for the touchdown. Junior kicker Kevin Curry nailed the extra point attempt.

Pioneer nearly tied the game about halfway through the third period when senior quarterback Carson King found senior wideout Rolando Ramos for a 50-yard touchdown strike. However, the Patriots opted to go for two instead of tying the game with a kick, and the attempt failed.

The bold play selection continued the next play as Pioneer attempted an onside kick, but the Rams recovered it on the Patriots’ 49-yard line. The failed onside attempt gave Casa great starting field position, allowing senior running back Josh Taylor to dash into the end zone from 37-yards out, followed by a Curry PAT.

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The Rams’ next score was set up by their defense as junior outside linebacker Adam Hiatt forced a fumble which was recovered by Casa at the Pioneer 10-yard line. Taylor finished off the drive with a five-yard rushing touchdown, followed up by Campbell connecting with junior Logan March for the two-point conversion. The Rams led 22-6 after three quarters of play.

The Patriots scored their final points of the game on a 25-yard completion from King to Ramos for six. The ensuing two-point attempt failed. Following a turnover on downs from Pioneer, Campbell hit March for a 63-yard touchdown pass. Curry missed the PAT. Casa ultimately won by two scores at 28-12.

Campbell completed 15-of-22 passing attempts for 202 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. March was his leading receiver with a game-high eight receptions for 123 yards and a score. Combs had two catches for 26 yards and a touchdown.

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As he has all season and for years, Taylor was the leader in the backfield for the Rams. The 5-foot-11, 185-pound senior finished 20 carries for a game-high 155 yards rushing (7.8 yards per carry) with two touchdowns.

This Friday, Casa returns home for Senior Night and the final game of the regular season against Dixon, who are the reigning GEL champions. Both teams have already assured themselves a spot in the postseason, however, Friday’s game will be for the league title.

Rams fans can purchase tickets early by going to If you’re looking for a more inclusive game experience, you can upgrade to sit in the VIP section called “The Barn” set up by the Casa boosters. Tickets and more information for The Barn can be viewed at under “shop.” Food served in the VIP section will be catered by Chef Anthony Vo of Almond Heights Senior Living who will be cooking live.

Kickoff on Friday night in Orangevale for the Battle of the Rams is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Additional reporting by MaryAnne Povey