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Gridley Herald - Gridley, CA
  • Wolverines treat Cougars to one-sided game of hoops

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  • Dalton Evenson was quick to make his presence known on Friday night. Biggs High School's 5-foot 2-inch running back gave testament to the saying, “It isn't the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog.” Virtually every time he touched the ball in the Wolverines' 74-18 victory over the Weed Cougars he found himself in the end zone. On the opening drive, Evenson grabbed the ball and was immediately off to the races, putting the Wolverines up 7-0 without two minutes being taken off the clock. The Weed Cougars responded immediately however, as quarterback Aiden Hagerty connected with Spencer Hall for a 30-yard score to bring the game 7-6. With just over five minutes left in the first, Nathan Callaway punches in a 10-yard score for the Wolverines. On the following drive, the Cougars fired back as Hagerty connected with Hall for a 45-yard score to bring the game 14-12 with under a minute left in the first. Weed's excitement was short-lived though. They were unaware the outcome of the game had already been decided. Less than five minutes later, the Wolverines' scoreboard read 42-12. By the end of the half, 62-12. The Cougars' kick after the Hagerty to Hall score landed in the hands of Dalton Evenson for just the second time that night. Evenson took it and marched 80-yards down the sideline for his second of the game. A successful PAT by Israel Farfan put the score at 21-12. On Biggs' next drive, less than two minutes later, Evenson got the ball for a third time on the evening. This time he took the ball 45-yards, breaking several tackles along the way, for his third score of the game. His fourth carry ended in a 33-yard score. With 7:43 still to go in the half, Evenson danced his way to the end zone for his fifth and final score of the game. The Wolverines scored again on their following drive. This time, it was Callaway who broke free for a 48 yard score to put Biggs up 49-12 at 5:35 in the second. Biggs scored again on both of their next two possessions before going into the half with a 62-12 lead. The first of those scores came on a 46-yard run by freshman Matt Mize, while the second was on a QB keeper by sophomore quarterback Brendan Smith. Both Mize and Smith's scores were their first as varsity Wolverines, as they both played on the JV team before being asked to move up to the varsity level for the postseason. The JV team, who finished the season as Co-MVL champions at 7-3 record, sent ten players up to the varsity level for the Wolverines' postseason. Mize was the sole freshman. He finished the game with 88 yards on just three carries—two of those carries ended in six points. With a little more than seven minutes left in the third, the Cougars scored one final time. Weeds' backup freshman quarterback Thairen Sivongsa lobbed the ball into the air on the 15-yard line and, after being tipped by a Wolverine defender, landed in the hands of Cougar running back Rashaan Bloomfield. Callaway scored the Wolverines final touchdown of the night on a 80-yard pick six to officially end the game at 74-18. Evenson finished the game with 166 yards on seven rushes with five scores to lead the Wolverines, while Callaway ran for 131 yards and two touchdowns. Mize finished with 88 yards on the ground and a pair of scores, and Smith also scored a rushing TD. Farfan made eight of his eleven PATs. On defense, Callaway had an 80-yard interception return for a score. Lane Bennett had two fumble recoveries and Caleb Melton had two sacks for Biggs (10-1). With the victory, the Biggs moves one step close toward the Northern Section title game. Standing in front of them this week is the Fall River Bulldogs. The Bulldogs (8-3, 4-0) comes into the game off a 42-27 victory over Portola on Friday. This is not the first time the Wolverines have gone head up against the Bulldogs. Biggs met Fall River in their opening game, with the Wolverines coming out on top 34-16. After starting out the season 2-3, Fall River has dominated every team that's lined up against them. Their most recent loss was in Week 4 against the Maxwell Panthers—the only opponent to come out on top of the Wolverines. The Panthers won that game by a narrow score of 27-20 in overtime. The Wolverines have yet to face the Bulldogs' sophomore quarterback Jace Neugebauer, who missed the first two games of the season with an injury. Since then Neugebauer has thrown for 1,465 yards and 18 touchdowns. He has also picked up an additional 284 yards on 39 carries and two scores. Fall River's run game is lead by senior running back Michael Westlund with 1089 yards on 143 carries and eight scores, while Brennan Gilligan had 559 yards on 81 carries and three scores. Neugebauer's primary targets this season have been junior tight end Tanner Gallion, with 39 catches for 656 yards and two scores, and junior Jonathan Westlund, who has 19 catches for 504 yards and five touchdowns. Neugebauer also heads the Bulldogs' defense with 75 tackles this season and four interceptions, while Gallion has 11 sacks on the year. Several media outlets are already convinced that Biggs will head to the title game. If this is true, they will take on the winner of the Maxwell-Portola game. Last season, Portola ousted Maxwell in the second round of the playoffs 35-25, then the Tigers went on to win the Northern Section title game over Chester 42-13.

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