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Knights Sports

The 2011 Rio Linda Knights Football Team

Posted Tuesday, November 15, 2011 by Michael Morris
The Knights lost to the defending State Champion Folsom Bulldogs on Thursday in the 1st round of the CIF SJS Division II playoffs.
The Knights finished 7 – 4, and 3 – 2 in the CVC.  Last year the Knights were 3 – 7, and 0 – 5 in the CVC.
Rio Linda started the year by winning the Sac-Joaquin Strength Competition at Foothill High School in May.  The Knights next won their bracket at Oregon Football Camp in June.  In July, Rio Linda won the American River College Passing Tournament.
August was the start of the season and the beginning of a series of adversities that would plague the team in 2011.  In our Jamboree, on the Saturday before our Opening game at Roseville, we lost three starting positions for the year.  Sophomore Leonard Skattebo, who was starting at Mike linebacker and fullback, broke his arm as well as junior J.T. Loudon, starting at wide receiver, who broke his clavicle.
The Knights were tied with Roseville 21 – 21 at the end of the 3rd quarter but fell apart in the 4th and lost to the ranked Tigers 21 – 42.  Senior quarterback Cole Farrow led Rio Linda with 173 yards passing and senior linebacker Jeremy Koopman had 14 tackles.
Rio Linda defeated the defending CAL champion Antelope Titans the next week 40 – 35 behind 221 yards rushing and 4 touchdowns by junior Lamar Bible and senior strong safety Joseph Ram had 8 tackles, one for a loss, a fumble recovery, and an interception.
The Knights traveled to Moscow, Idaho in week 3 and defeated Lake City in the Kibbie Dome 20 – 19 by coming from behind and then stopping a two-point conversion for the victory.  Rio Linda was again led by Bible, who rushed for 171 yards and 3 more touchdowns.  Unfortunately, the Knights lost sophomore Sam Yocum (starting right tackle) to an ankle injury for the year. 
Week 4 the Knights traveled to traditional rival Center High School.  Rio Linda defeated the Cougars 28 – 7.  Bible had 120 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns, Farrow threw for 163 yards and 2 touchdowns, senior wide receiver Clinton Scobee caught 2 touchdowns, and Koopman had 10 tackles.
Rio Linda defeated the Natomas Nighthawks for Homecoming 25 – 7 in week 5.  Farrow threw for 114 yards and a touchdown, Koopman had 18 tackles, and free safety Scobee had 2 interceptions.  Again the Knights had some bad luck as starting corner and leading rusher Lamar Bible was lost to injury early in the contest.  Joseph Ram stepped in and ran for 149 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Without Bible, the Knights struggled the following week against defending CVC champion Del Campo.  Rio Linda lost 0 – 41.  The only highlight was Koopman’s 13 tackles.  The Knights lost two more starters that never returned to the field, returning starter defensive end Damon Banks and junior wide receiver Jastan Gregory.
Without Bible and after losing some of their top receivers the Knights changed offensively to a two back, fullback oriented attack.  They responded with a convincing 47 – 29 victory over Bella Vista.  Fullback Jeremy Koopman ran for 137 yards and sophomore corner Keenan Hunt went wild with 8 tackles, one for a loss, 2 fumble recoveries, 2 interceptions (one returned for a 94 yard touchdown), and a 97 yard kick-off return for another touchdown!
In week 8 the Knights ground game exploded against Christian Brothers, winning 35 - 21.  Koopman had 155 yards rushing and 5 touchdowns, Ram added 152 yards rushing, and Farrow threw for 112 yards.  Senior Anthony Cooper (linebacker) and junior Michael Shane (defensive tackle) led the team with 11 tackles each.
Week 9 was more adversity.  Facing league leading and highly ranked Casa Roble, the Knights lost three year starting quarterback to a season ending knee injury on the second series.  Rio Linda gave up an interception returned for a touchdown, a fumble returned for a touchdown, and a fumble returned to the 2 yard line which led to another touchdown.  The Knights ran 65 plays to the Rams’ 34, Koopman ran for 145 yards and had 11 tackles, and they held the Rams passing game to 4 for 10 and only 38 yards.  They could no overcome the turnovers and lost 6 – 34.
The regular season ended with a 20 – 12 victory at Oakmont.  Koopman rolled with 208 yards rushing and Ram returned an interception for a touchdown.
The Knights finished by traveling to defending State Champion Folsom for the first round of the CIF Sac-Joaquin Division II play-offs.  Rio Linda had little go right and lost 19 – 56.
In the end, Rio Linda played 7 play-off teams, defeating 3 of them. 
Two other seniors deserve special mention.  Offensive guard Luis Medrano broke the school record with over 200 knockdowns.  He played the entire season with a severe knee injury.  Also, senior Cameron Salaices led the defense from his outside linebacking position and also moved from his normal tightend position to play wide receiver.
Junior Dustin Rossiter played through a shoulder injury that limited his play at linebacker and fullback.  He ended the season taking over the quarterback job and did very well.

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