Prep Impressions: April 15, 2021

EASTVALE — The Norco-Eastvale Roosevelt Week 4-A varsity football game on Thursday, April 15, 2021, was a barn-burner early and a time burner late.

For Norco, the result means its first outright Big VIII League title since 2009. That’s a long time. But it was the win against Centennial was the moment that made this season memorable. This win against Roosevelt was a bookend on a fairytale. It was the cherry on top of the ice cream sundae after a big meat-and-potatoes dinner. It was a chance for Jacob Rosendahl to shine and he did that, running for TDs on three of his first four carries as Norco led 28-14 after a six-touchdown first quarter.

Norco coach Chuck Chastian said, “It’s a good feeling. To not know if we were going to play or not going to play, all the work the kids put in, the game at Centennial which was just a great moment and to be here now, I’m just super proud of our kids’ effort – and the staff – it’s a great feeling. We thought we could be competitive with (Centennial) this year. We always believe we can (but) it’s the mistakes against adversity that kill us, and they’re a good football team. If we don’t kill ourselves we’ll have a chance in any game. (Kyle Crum) is a leader and we trust him. He’s call stuff based on what’s going on. He’s mentally head and shoulders above a lot of other QBs. He’s our guy. We struggled in the run game a little bit this year, and Jacob (Rosendahl) responded tonight and the line opened up and he hit to hole. It’s not often you see us without a massive running back so I’m proud of his effort and he’s getting better everyday.”

For Roosevelt, it was a display of a bunch of pieces for the future and a gruesome injury to an outgoing senior. Sophomore QB Julian Viramontes definitely had a connection with senior WR Dayjiohn Wheeler, combining for a a pair of highlight reel touchdowns in the first quarter – but Norco’s defense figured that out pretty quickly and the game was essentially over by halftime. If it wasn’t, then it was definitely done when Wheeler, double-teamed on a fade into the end zone late in the third, came down awkwardly with his left leg dislocated at the knee. The game took 40 minutes to re-start.

Roosevelt coach Tommy Leach said, “It’s football. That’s the way football is. It’s about how you handle adversity and overcome stuff, it’s just football. Dejiohn would have kept playing and I’m glad our guys played hard. They kept playing hard. And Norco kept playing hard, too. That’s the way it is. We’re really young but so is Norco, so is Centennial, so is Santiago. We’re all young. Even (Riverside) King is really young, so we’ve got a lot of work to do. We’ll have a real off-season. We took COVID really seriously. Everything was voluntary so I don’t know if we had an off-season like others because we put no pressure on our kids and a lot of kids didn’t show up until it mattered. This game felt like Week 14. Physically, our bodies, we couldn’t go another game. I’m glad it was a perfect five games for our season. Third place in the Big VIII is nothing to hang your head about. (Julian Viramontes) is awesome. He’s poised. He made some mistakes but a lot of it was through communication. We’re putting a whole offense in in 5 weeks. We did things we haven’t even worked on because we kind of treated it like a Spring Practice, too. We threw a lot at them. On my fault, our communication kind of let him down, too, just because we haven’t been able to work out the kinks. We’re really young. The O-line, the running backs – we have four really good running backs – and we’ve got a group of young receivers so we should be really, really good and competitive. Now we just have to work hard in the off-season to compete against them.”

Norco – 28 – 20 – 7 – 7 — 62
Roosevelt – 14 – 6 – 0 – 0 — 20
First quarter

N – Rosendahl 63 run (Irvin kick), 11:35
R – Wheeler pass from Viramontes (South kick), 9:25
N – Rosendahl 1 run (Irvin kick), 8:54 
R – Wheeler pass from Viramontes (South kick), 6:59
N – Lemus pass from Crum (Irvin kick), 3:49
N – Rosendahl 14 run (Irvin kick), 1:47
Second quarter
N – Rosendahl 24 pass from Crum (Irvin kick), 11:51
R – Fong 35 run (kick failed), 11:05
N – Crum 10 run (Irvin kick), 8:05
N – Irvin 23 FG, 6:03
N – Irvin 32 FG, 0:55
Third quarter
N – Crum 8 run (Irvin kick), 6:08
Fourth quarter
N – Manley 3 run (Irvin kick), 7:10 
Team statistics
Total plays
– Norco: 743; Roosevelt: 62.
First downs
– Norco: 21; Roosevelt: 8.
Penalties – Norco: 8-95; Roosevelt: 5-50. 
Individual statistics
Rushing
– Norco: Rosendahl 9-74, May 12-72, Crum 10-29, Kaleiwahea 5-20, Cruz 1-14, #22 1-3; Roosevelt: Fong 8-49, Neal 11-35, Moore 2-8, Yi 1-2, Masivi 1-0, Viramontes 4-(minus-17).
Passing – Norco: Crum 14-25-1-356; Roosevelt: Viramontes 13-25-3-122.
Receiving – Norco: Lemus 2-95, Rodriguez 5-88, Warchuck 1-58, Gray 2-43, Rosendahl 1-24, Dudden 1-14, Zentner 1-14, Ibbetson 1-11; Roosevelt: Wheeler 7-91, Masivi 5-39, Habermehl 1-(minus-4).
Interceptions – Norco: Grier 1-0, Zentner 1-0, Cuadra 1-0; Roosevelt: Johnson 1-0.

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