Shasta College wide receiver Patrick Blake is one of the top returners for the Knights in 2018. (Photo by Mike Daly Photography)
The Shasta College football team opens its season Saturday at Chabot College in Hayward. The Knights were moved up to the National Division and changed conferences to the NorCal Conference – one of the toughest conferences in the state.
Here are some players that could make an impact in Saturday’s game for both teams:
WR Patrick Blake, Shasta College, So.
‘Big Catch Pat’ is back to improve on his freshman campaign. Blake is no stranger the area – a Foothill High grad in Palo Cedro – just like he’s no stranger to rising up at crucial moments in high school and college. He hauled in the game-winning touchdown with four-seconds left to beat Feather River and caught a 25-yard touchdown pass from backup quarterback (now helping coach the Knights) Daniel Lewis to help complete a 10-point comeback in the final six minutes against Redwoods to win the Pac-7 League title and earn the championship bowl bid. Overall last season, Blake gained 221 yards and scored three touchdowns on 19 receptions and is a key piece to return as a starting outside receiver for the Knights this fall.
LB Zach Thompson, Shasta College, So.
Also a Foothill High grad like Blake, Thompson put on more weight to make him a force as an outside linebacker for the Knights. He was second on the team in tackles last season with 46, which included three tackles for a loss, one sack, two interceptions and two pass breakups. He found his groove the final three games last season, totaling 19 tackles. He’ll be looked at as a leader of this year’s defense, especially with his valuable experience and leadership.
WR – DaJuan Johnson, Chabot, So.
Johnson is the returning leader in receiving after catching 17 passes for 245 yards last season. His 76-yard reception was the longest on the team and he’s back on the Gladiator roster for 2018.
DL – Samuel Cavallini, Chabot, So.
The Gladiator’s leader in sacks (4.5) and tackles for loss (7) from a year ago returns. Chabot might have allowed 186 rushing yards and 31 points per game during last year’ 2-8 campaign, but he was a bright spot that the Knights have to keep an eye out for on Saturday.
RB – Kenio Mike, Shasta College, So.
LB – Davonte Robertson, Shasta College, So.
LB – Moal Moala, Chabot, So.
DL – Devon Vaenuku, Chabot, So.