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Orland loots Pirates, sets up Sutter rematch
On the legs of three Zack Garzoli touchdown runs and the feet of two Aldrick Rosas field goals, the Orland High football team set up a rematch with undefeated Sutter by blanking Wheatland 33-0 at home on Friday in the first round of the Northern Section Division II playoffs.
The fourth-seeded Trojans were well-acquainted with the defense of No. 5 Wheatland, as the Trojans rushed for 504 yards when the two teams met on Oct. 26, in a game that Orland won 48-20 on the road.
"Our O-line was making big holes and were getting blocks down, I just needed to run," said Garzoli. And run he did, carrying the ball 10 times in the first half for 91 yards, and scoring on runs of 33 and 7 yards.
Garzoli finished with 17 carries for 141 yards, as the Trojans amassed 230 yards total.
"I am pretty happy with Zack," beamed victorious Orland coach Mike McDonald. "We needed to get him the ball more and he made it pay off." He added, "Our O-line did terrific, we had a nice rotation going. They (Wheatland) were having to do different things to get a defensive stop, and Jordan (Long) was making good reads and checking out."
Long checked out of Orland's first play from scrimmage, and the result was a 37-yard completion to Kavi Ram on a post pattern that brought the Trojans to the Pirates' 25-yard line. Garzoli's 7-yard scoring run capped the seven-play drive and from there, it was on.
Long was an effective 8 for 12 throwing the ball, for 136 yards.
Rosas split the uprights from 32 yards to make it 10-0 after the first quarter, and fullback Benito Garcia bulled it over from a yard out in the second quarter to add onto the lead.
Late in the first half Wheatland rolled the dice when they elected to go for it on fourth-and-10 from their own 47, and Arthur Flynn made a huge sack that gave Orland the ball on downs with 1:08 showing on the clock.
That was more than enough time for the Trojans to inflict more damage, as Garzoli bounced off right tackle 33 yards to make it 23-0 at the break.
The Pirates made their first visit to the red zone in the second quarter when they faced a first-and-goal from the 3, but the Trojan defense backed them up three yards on the next three plays to squelch the threat.
Of Orland's defensive stonewall, Flynn said, "We knew we could stop the run, all week in practice we focused on stopping No. 85 (tight end Jordan Samson). We threw in some blitzes, and we just needed to get our offense the ball. If (the other team) doesn't score, we just need to score once."
The Trojans held Wheatland to just 120 yards on the ground - 82 of which were covered by Austin Cooper in 13 carries - and quarterback Jason Hopking was 7 of 18 for 69 yards through the air.
Charlie Tice led Orland with 11 tackles, and Victor Raigoza added 10, and Ben Howard was in the Pirates' backfield all night to harass and hurry Hopking.
The Pirates reached the red zone just once in the second half as well, but were held back at the 17.
Garzoli scored his third TD in the fourth quarter on another 7-yard run, and Rosas booted a 29-yarder after Flynn recovered a Wheatland fumble.
The victory gave the Trojans 20 wins over the last two seasons, establishing a new all-time school record.
It also set up a rematch with Sutter, who trounced Yreka 49-7, and who also beat Orland 20-3 on Sept. 28.
So if you were to ask the Trojans which win was most important, to a man they are going to tell you "The 21st."
CONTACT Craig Purcell at 824-1036 or email@example.com.