It was only a matter of time before third-year varsity starter James Weaver would take over a game. He was saving it for his finale.
With Shasta trailing in the second half for the first time since the season-opening loss to West Valley, Weaver exploded for not only his best quarter of the season but his most clutch performance of 2021.
Weaver scored both the game-tying and go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter and racked up 135 of his game-high 184 total yards in Shasta’s 28-21 home victory over Foothill to be named the Redding Rancheria Player of the Game for the Tri Counties Bank Game of the Week.
Shasta head coach JC Hunsaker knew it could be a special night for Weaver when the senior told him before the game that he felt different.
Through the first three quarters, Weaver had been bottled up by Foothill’s rallying defense. That happens when you’re the preseason No. 1 returner in the SCS Player Rankings. But Weaver was ready for his sliver of an opportunity and took it.
He raced downfield on a 64-yard run and three plays later hauled in a 19-yard touchdown catch from QB Layton Dunlap for the game-tying score. About 2 minutes later, Weaver cut upfield off the right edge and plowed his way across the goal line for a 4-yard touchdown. He had one more big play left in him, busting loose for a 54-yarder to flip the field and ice the game with less than 2 minutes to play.
“I knew in the second half I didn’t have a choice — I had to make big plays. I broke some tackles but my linemen pulled through. I looked them all in the eyes before that last drive and said we needed a big push and that’s what we got.”
Redding Rancheria Player of the Game
Week 1 – Holden Gilbert | West Valley
Week 2 – Shasta defense | Shasta
Week 3 – Anthony Rogers | West Valley
Week 4 – Zach Wilkes | Shasta
Week 5 – Kevin Cox | U-Prep
Week 6 – Cooper Laloli | Foothill
Week 7 — James Weaver | Shasta