There was no trophy, no wild celebration and whether it was called River Bowl XXIX or River Bowl XXVIII-Part B, the outcome was the same as it’s been since 2015 … a Shasta victory.
Hunter Pinkston scored three times on six carries, Michael Traylor had two interceptions, one for a touchdown, and Shasta beat Enterprise 49-12 in what we’re calling River Bowl XXIX on Friday at Enterprise Community Stadium.
The Wolves outscored their crosstown rivals 106-19 in the two games this season and 349-109 over the seven-game win streak.
“Yeah, it was weird this week,” said Traylor. “We didn’t know what to call it. It’s weird to play Enterprise at the varsity level and not have a trophy anywhere.
“I have no idea if this counts as the seventh, I just wanted to come out and play football and I’m just so happy we got the win.”
The game didn’t start the way Shasta (4-1) thought as the 57-7 win several weeks back.
Enterprise (1-4) came out and engineered a 13-play, 80-yard drive heavy on the run to take a 6-0 lead after chewing more than six and half minutes off the first-quarter clock.
“This whole week we worked on the line, making sure we got it right,” Enterprise back Eli Cortinas said. “The main goal was to run and we did that in the first quarter.”
Cortinas ran for 99 yards and a score on 22 carries.
“They put their dudes in spots where our defensive scheme had to make some adjustments, and Eli ran super hard,” Shasta coach JC Hunsaker said. “They were prepared to come out swinging.”
On Shasta’s first possession, the Wolves moved the ball, but the Enterprise defense held firm as Layton Dunlap’s fourth down pass to James Weaver was incomplete and the hosts took over on downs.
Three plays into the Horents’ drive, however, starting quarterback David Sheffer was intercepted by Traylor, who has been responsible for turnovers in the last four Shasta games, all victories.
Bryson Kimp scored three plays later from seven yards out and Shasta took a 7-6 lead, one it wouldn’t relinquish.
On the Wolves next drive, Dunlap dug the visitors out of a third-and-26 hole with a 33-yard pass to Weaver, followed by a 40-yard scoring run from Pinkston to put the Wolves up 13-6 with just over four minutes left in the half.
And just as they did last week against Foothill, the Wolves got a game-changing pick-six, this time from Traylor, who jumped a screen route from Sheffer to Cortinas.
“That second one (interception) was big,” Traylor said. “I knew the play because we were worried about it on film. That screen play to Eli, I knew it was coming before it happened.”
The Shasta senior jumped the route, grabbed the ball around the 15 and scampered into the end zone and the Wolves’ lead was suddenly 21-6.
“You could tell as soon as they started to set up the screen, I saw this white (jersey) and I knew he was in the spot he was supposed to be,” Hunsaker said. “That was a big momentum swing. We were in a tight ballgame at that moment and Traylor finds a way.
“Traylor is a special football player and he’s at the top of his game.”
And while the senior linebacker was making his case for Defensive MVP, Pinkston was adding to his River Bowl legacy.
After receiving the second-half kickoff, Shasta started on their 35 and handed the ball to Pinkston on a sweep. He found the edge, ran at the safety, made a cut inside and was gone for the 65-yard score.
Following Enterprise’s second touchdown, a 29-yard pass from Zach McNeil to Brayden Flores, Pinkston raced 69 yards for his third touchdown … on three straight carries to boost the Shasta lead to 35-12.
Pinkston finished with 208 yards rushing on six carries. The last trip to paydirt gives the senior wing seven touchdowns against Enterprise this season.
“I came in feeling good, like I was going to have a big night and I knew everyone was going to ask ‘Why does he play this way against Enterprise?’ ” he said. “When you have three All-Section running backs (Pinkston, Kimp and Weaver) in your backfield, the defense has to give up something and someone’s bound to have a good night and tonight was my night.”
Hunsaker only wishes his speedy wing had played as a junior.
“Pinky’s freaking good,” he said. “He’s an instinctive football player and the scary part is he’d be that much better if he would’ve played last year. We’re fortunate he decided to come out.”
The Wolves tacked on two more scores – a seven-yard Weaver run and a 46-yard TD pass from Dunlap to Jack Reindel late as Shasta faced a third-and-42 after a succession of penalties backed them up into minus territory.
In addition to Pinkston’s 208 yards rushing, Weaver ran for 59 on 11 carries and the TD, while Kimp added 73 yards on 11 carries and the score. Dunlap was 5-of-6 passing for 123 yards and a touchdown.
The Hornets travel to Foothill on Friday for their season finale, while Shasta is on a bye.