Redwood uses big first half to drop Terra Linda
Five different players found the end zone for the Redwood High football team, which made its looming presence felt early and often en route to a comfortable 51-7 win over host Terra Linda at San Rafael High on Saturday night.
The game was never in doubt as the Giants — propelled by a 27-point second quarter — led 44-7 at halftime. But the Giants (2-0) initially stumbled out of the gates; their first three trips to the red zone (on plays of 49, 24 and 39 yards) were called back because of penalties.
The Giants were finally able to get on the scoreboard via sophomore kicker’s Conor Weasler 35-yard field goal at the 7-minute, 22-second mark in the first quarter.
The visitors soon found their footing when senior wide receiver Zach Ginsburg took a screen pass 46 yards for a touchdown from sophomore quarterback Brady Weingart to put his team ahead 10-0.
After forcing a three-and-out, the Giants quickly added another score — a 1-yard touchdown run by senior running back Thomas Johnson late in the first quarter to extend the lead to 17-0. Ginsburg set up the Giants with perfect field position at their opponent’s one-yard line following a dazzling 40-yard punt return.
The Trojans (1-1) had a tough time containing Ginsburg early on. The receiver had 75 yards on two catches while also tallying nearly 100 yards on special teams.
“We all know Zach,” Weingart said. “Zach, he’s fantastic. It’s awesome to have a target like him. Big target. Awesome guy, great teammate. He’s the best receiver in MCAL as far as I’m concerned.”
Following Ginsburg’s long touchdown, the Trojans answered right back with their own in the form of a 46-yard pass from senior quarterback Tommy Hayes to senior wide receiver Liam Riley to start the second quarter, cutting the deficit to 17-7. It was one of few bright spots of the day for the Trojans, who struggled to move the ball on offense.
Deploying a two-quarterback system to begin the game with Hayes and senior Zach Cauz, the Trojans completed eight passes for 118 yards. The ground game was also stymied as the Trojans rushed for just 50 yards.
After Riley’s long score at the beginning of the second quarter, the Giants rattled off four consecutive touchdown drives.
Senior running back Thomas Johnson initiated the frenzy with a 36-yard run to add onto the lead 24-7 at the 10:42 mark in the second quarter. Later in the quarter, the Giants put together a three-play scoring drive that ended with a 51-yard pass from Weingart to senior wide receiver Sam Davis to make it 31-7.
On the ensuing possession for the Trojans, Cauz threw an interception at his own 35-yard line.
The Giants struck two more times before the half as Weingart connected with junior wide receiver Nico Tribuzio on a 35-yard screen pass to push the lead to 38-7 at the 3:25 mark in the second quarter. Junior running back Valentino Starbird’s 30-yard scoring run made it 44-7 at intermission.
Johnson led the attack in the running game, rushing for 112 yards and three touchdowns on 14 carries. Weingart had an efficient night through the air, going 9-for -13 passing for 201 yards and three touchdowns.
“I give most of the credit to my receivers there because two of those were screen passes — I mean they did all the work for me,” Weingart said. “It feels good to start to settle in a little bit. We’ve got a lot of athletes, so we can do damage. It’s fun.”
Weingart, who filled in for injured starter Clayton Grace last week against Tam, will continue to start. Redwood coach Allen Talley confirmed that Grace is expected to miss the remaining three games of the season.
“He’s doing good,” Talley said about his sophomore signal-caller. “He’s stepped in, and we’re going with what we roll with. He’s up for the challenge and he played well, so it was good. Build each week, each week. Let’s see if we can get better next week.”
Redwood 51, Terra Linda 7
Redwood — 17 27 0 7 — 51
Terra Linda — 0 7 0 0 — 7
R — Weasler 35 field goal
R — Ginsburg 46 pass from Weingart (Weasler kick)
R — Johnson 1 run (Weasler kick)
TL — Riley 49 pass from Hayes (Riley kick)
R — Johnson 36 run (Weasler kick)
R — Davis 51 pass from Weingart (Weasler kick)
R — Tribuzio 35 pass from Weingart (kick failed)
R — Starbird 30 run (Weasler kick )
R — Johnson 27 run (Weasler kick)
RUSHING — Redwood, Johnson 14-112; Starbird 3-31; Davis 1-15; Weingart 3-8. Totals 21-166. TL, Johnson 13-44; Hernandez 5-(minus-6); Riley 1-(minus-6); Hayes 2-16; Cauz 2-2. Totals 23-50.
PASSING — Redwood, Weingart 9-13-0 201. TL – Hayes 5-15-0 107; Cauz 3-11-1 7. Totals 8-26-1 114.
RECEIVING — Redwood, Ginsburg 2-75; Davis 6-91; Tribuzio 1-35. Totals 9-201. TL — Riley 1-46; Dedmon 1-4; Switzer 1-5; Brody 2-28; Elwood 1-9; Cauz 1-24. Totals 8-114.
Records: Redwood 2-0, Terra Linda 1-1.