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Wheatland Sun

Live Oak loses 3rd straight with shutout loss to Winters

Oct 08, 2022 12:00AM ● By By Steven Bryla

Live Oak junior running back Eben Jones rushes into a wall of defenders during a 27-13 win at Biggs on August 27. Photo by Christopher Pedigo

WINTERS, CA (MPG) - The Live Oak Lions were shut out on the road Friday in the opening week of Sacramento Valley League play by the Winters Warriors, 41-0.

Live Oak (3-3, 0-1 SVL) was short-handed due to injuries on their offensive line, Lions head coach Robert Tilton told The Gridley Herald.

He added that on the opening drive of the second half, senior quarterback Tony Herrera exited the game with an injury as well. Herrera had one completion for 19 yards with an interception before he left the game. Tilton told The Herald that most of his lineman and Herrera should be back against Pierce this coming Friday.

In its last three games, which have all been losses, Live Oak has given up an average of 42 points a game. The Lions gave up an average of 4.3 points a game in their first three games, which were all wins. 

Tilton said his team focused on the secondary defensively against Winters because when they played Hamilton on September 23, they were able to get through the secondary easily.

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He added that his defense was able to apply pressure in the backfield to where they converted some fourth down stops and added tackles for loss.

The Lions had a total of five sacks in the loss to Winters.

“We want to implement physicality this week,” Tilton said.

Live Oak senior running back Raul Romero rushed the ball 16 times for a team-high 62 yards in the loss. Romero is the Lions current rushing leader with 455 yards and four rushing touchdowns on the season.

“We want to get back to where we were at the beginning of the year where we were chunking away with three and four yards at a time,” Tilton explained.

RELATED: Live Oak outlasts Biggs for first win

Tilton told The Herald that despite the three-game losing skid, that his team has a better morale about them compared to last season when the team finished 1-8 overall and 0-6 in SVL play. Last season, when Live Oak would begin to lose, the players would typically drop their heads and get discouraged… but not this year.

“We’re gonna play hard for the entire time,” Tilton said. 

The Lions host the Pierce Bears from Arbuckle this Friday night. According to Tilton, Pierce is a hungry team with a young coaching staff that participated in the same football camp as Sutter High School during the summer.

The Bears are currently ranked 18th in the CIF Northern Section, and they are coming off a 14-13 loss to Colusa on Friday night. 

Pierce is a run-heavy team that has over 1500 yards on the ground this season through six games. The Bears defeated Live Oak 48-0 last season.