Hollister LBs will hear beat of a different Drummer

Anthony Vasquez, Chris Stephens, Mike Villanueva and Stephen
King. Are you ready for some football? A Saturday afternoon
party?
Anthony Vasquez, Chris Stephens, Mike Villanueva and Stephen King. Are you ready for some football? A Saturday afternoon party?

The quartet of Hollister High starting linebackers will have to be on their collective horse Saturday afternoon when the Balers (4-2-1, 2-0 Tri-County Athletic League) attempt to tackle Ronnie Drummer and the North Salinas Vikings (3-4, 1-1) at the Salinas Sports Complex. Kickoff is 4 p.m. with junior varsity and freshmen games preceding it.

Drummer, a junior, rushed for 169 yards on a mere five carries at Live Oak last Friday before collapsing of hyperventilation. He had to taken away in an ambulance. Drummer was headed for more yards when he collapsed on his way to the goal line late in the first period. He ended the night with a 33.8 yard per carry average and probably ran another 100 yards in the backfield reversing his field.

“His eyes got big,” said Vikings coach Tracy Filice. “He was thinking about the school record. Ronnie’s into records. He got too excited.”

Drummer, a 10.7 100-meter runner, may someday break Johnny Johnston’s school mark of 294 yards set in 1980. The Balers just don’t want it to be this week.

“We have to contain him,” said Baler safety P.J. Galvan, who has two interceptions on the season. “He’s fast. They have some big guns.”

Expect Drummer to run behind massive offensive tackle Carl Nicks, who also anchors the Vikings defensive front. Nicks is getting looked at by the majority of Pac-10 schools. Outside linebacker Armando Jones is another force for the Vikings and he’s drawn interest from Boise State.

“They have size and speed,” said Baler offensive coordinator Rick Dukes. “We need to control the ball, keep the ball away from them. We can’t turn the ball over. We have to move the ball and come away with points every time. They can score in a hurry.”

The Balers will be hindered somewhat offensively this week. Left guard Ty Doty is out with an injured knee he suffered in practice Wednesday. He’ll be replaced by Byron McGee, who just became eligible. Phil Leonard and Cameron Murray are set at tackles. J.D. Clapham, who has been plagued by injuries this year, will rotate in some with Murray. Jonathan Lopez is at right guard with Clay Peer manning the center spot. Oscar Correa is the tight end.

Lee Osborne, a serious threat to score when he gets outside, is at the helm for the Balers with fullback Trenton Young and halfback Armando Larez in their usual spots. Sophomore Chris Brigantino will see more playing time this Saturday after a fine performance against Gilroy. Nick Bailey is the wingback.

Filice is concerned about Young, especially.

“They’ll give the ball a lot to their fullback, I imagine,” said Filice. “It’s our speed against their strength.”

The importance of the game is immense. A loss will make it rough on either team to make the Central Coast Section playoffs. The Balers have two monsters after this one – at home vs. Salinas, then vs. Palma at the Salinas Sports Complex on Nov. 15.

“We can’t lose any of the next three games,” said nosetackle Brandon Para. “All three games are championship games. We can’t overlook North Salinas to look to Salinas.”

Baler bits: Cornerback Jason Silva incurred a stinger in Thursday’s practice and was face down on the grass after a collision with Young. Silva appeared to be OK… Gordon Ross, who started at quarterback the first four games, had successful surgery recently on is torn pectoral muscle. Ross is expected to be back before the baseball season, which begins practice Feb. 1, 2003.

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