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Redding Rancheria Player(s) of the Game: Shasta defense

The Shasta Wolves defense was light's out Friday in a dominating 57-7 River Bowl XXVIII win over Enterprise. The Jim Schuette-led defense held the Hornets' offense scoreless and allowed a paltry 43 yards total offense. (Photo by Mike Daily / Shasta County Sports)

It’d be easy to look at James Weaver’s 165 yards of total offense and two scores in Shasta’s 57-7 River Bowl XXVIII win. Or even Hunter Pinkston’s four TD night in the dominating win in the Tri Counties Bank Game of the Week.

And while there are a number of players on the Wolfpack’s offense deserving, the defensive unit led by new coordinator Jim Schuette dominated crosstown rival Enterprise and earns this week’s Redding Rancheria Player(s) of the Game.

Shasta’s offense scored on its first seven possessions and deserves all the ink and praise for helping to keep the River Bowl trophy on the west side for the sixth straight time.

But Schuette’s defense was flat-out nasty. Led by end Bladen Stankey, middle linebacker Michael Taylor and cornerback Pinkston, the Wolves swatted the Hornets offense all night long. The defense keyed on feature back Eli Cortinas, holding the senior to 2 yards on seven carries. It frustrated quarterbacks Zach McNeil and David Sheffer into a 1-of-15 passing night combined for one yard.

The defense had a pick-six by Pinkston, a Traylor scoop-and-score fumble recovery for a TD and Stankey batted several passes and an Enterprise punt. And while those standout plays draws oohs and aahs, the down-to-down nastiness the Wolves showed can’t be overstated.

Shasta held Enterprise to under 40 yards of total offense and didn’t allow a point – the lone EHS score came on a kick off return. And it wasn’t just Pinkston, Traylor and Stankey. It was end Antonio Mazorra, nose Tony Perez, linbackers Mason Stankey, David Webb and Trey Gillory. It was Jack Reindel, Braxton Fleming and Zach Wilkes in the secondary.

“Offensively, our backs were running the ball hard and our line was playing to the whistle,” Shasta coach JC Hunsaker said, “but man, our defense was lights out tonight.

“I don’t know if I’ve ever been part of a game where a team doesn’t have a first down (until late). That’s a great defensive effort. It was a good team victory tonight.”

Redding Rancheria Player of the Game

Week 1Holden Gilbert, West Valley

Week 2 – Shasta defense

Aaron Williams has been involved in the North State sports scene for nearly two decades. He spent eight years as the Sports Editor for the local newspaper and another four more as the voice of high school football on the radio. Williams has coached various sports at the high school level over the past decade, most recently at Shasta High, and is also the public address announcer for the Shasta College football and basketball teams.

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