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Elk Grove Citizen

Casa Roble upset by Capital Christian in second round shootout

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

Casa Roble sophomore quarterback Connor Campbell is tackled by Capital Christian senior defensive back Jayden Nolen during a 42-35 Cougars win over the Rams in the quarterfinals of the 2022 Division IV CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Football Playoffs on Friday, November 11 in Orangevale. Photo by Tim Engle

Casa Roble upset by Capital Christian in second round shootout [5 Images] Click Any Image To Expand

ORANGEVALE, CA (MPG) – An additional third quarter touchdown was ultimately the difference Friday night in Orangevale as Casa Roble was defeated by Capital Christian 42-35 in the quarterfinals of the 2022 Division IV CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Football Playoffs.

The No. 2 seed Rams (9-2) earned a first-round bye in the postseason tournament. The No. 7 ranked Cougars (6-5) defeated No. 10 seed Wood (5-6) 48-13 in the opening round.

Casa began with the ball but quickly had to punt. Capital scored on its opening drive as sophomore running back Malakai Taione Tauataina rushed in from three yards out.

On the Rams’ next drive, sophomore quarterback Connor Campbell tossed a 47-yard dime to Cole Owens. The junior wide receiver caught the pass over his shoulder while sprinting down the right sideline before arriving at the end zone for six points. At the end of the first quarter, the game was tied at seven a piece.

Casa took its first lead when Campbell rushed in from nine yards out for the score. Capital tied the game late in the first half when junior quarterback Eddie Brusuelas connected with Tauataina for a 48-yard touchdown. After 24 minutes of play, the two teams were knotted at 14.

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The third quarter was where the game was decided. The Rams retook the lead with a five-yard rushing touchdown by Owens midway through the period. However, the Cougars scored twice over a two-minute span, which ultimately was the difference.

First, Brusuelas completed an 18-yard touchdown pass to junior running back Kayo Patu to tie the game. Then about a minute later, Brusuelas threw a 50-yard bomb to senior wideout Kanye Clark for the score. Capital led 28-21 going into the final 12 minutes of play.

Both teams scored two touchdowns in the final period. Campbell opened the quarter with a two-yard rushing touchdown. With about four minutes to go, Brusuelas tossed a 33-yard touchdown pass to Clark.

Casa’s next score was set up by a long pass from Campbell to junior wide receiver Logan March. The duo completed the drive as well with Campbell finding March for a nine-yard touchdown strike to tie the game at 35 with two minutes to play.

With less than a minute remaining, Brusuelas found Patu for a six-yard touchdown pass, giving the Cougars the lead for good. Capital won 42-25 and advanced to the semifinals of the D4 postseason bracket. The Cougars will travel to Roseville to take on No. 3 seed West Park (9-1) on Friday night at 7 p.m.

“Last Friday’s game was fun and exciting to be a part of but at the same time disappointing that it didn’t go our way,” Casa coach Chris Horner told the American River Messenger. “Capital Christian made more plays than we did, and they came out victorious. I was proud of the way the boys played and battled till the bitter end. It’s a shame that we won’t be able to play another week with this group of boys.”

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Campbell completed 16-of-25 pass attempts for 230 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions. The Rams’ 6-foot-1, 170-pound sophomore also rushed eight times for 40 yards and two scores.

Owens, who Horner calls “cyborg,” hauled in five receptions for a team-high 80 yards and a touchdown. The talented junior added two carries for 11 yards and a touchdown as well.

In his final game suiting up for Casa, senior running back Josh Taylor finished with 13 rushes for 58 yards, averaging 4.5 yards per carry. Taylor and senior cornerback Dylan Saucedo are two of the 10 Rams who will be graduating in the Class of 2023 in the spring.

“This was a very selfless group of boys to coach. Each player, when called upon to perform a task did so to the best of their ability and without complaint,” Horner said. “Although we were very young as a team fielding lots of juniors and sophomores, this team played with plenty of confidence and swagger like a veteran group.

“Our seniors were integral in the leadership of our younger players keeping the ship steering in the right direction the whole season. One of my favorite group of players I’ve coached in a while. This group of seniors will definitely be missed.”

Additional reporting by MaryAnne Povey