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SIERRA PUTS IT ALL ON THE LINE

T’Wolves set sights on Dimino, Del Campo

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SIERRA PUTS IT ALL ON THE LINE

Assistant coach Les Wheeler works with left tackle Alex Trujillo and the rest of Sierra High's offensive line during Wednesday's practice.

JONAMAR JACINTO/The Bulletin


POSTED December 3, 2009 2:21 a.m.
Ryan Dimino can throw.

Ryan Dimino can run.

But the best thing Ryan Dimino does is play defense, where UC Davis plans to use him at linebacker.

Dimino leads No. 2 Del Campo Friday when it hosts No. 3 Sierra in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs semifinals in Fair Oaks. Both teams bring 11-1 records to the contest and hopes of meeting either top-seeded Inderkum (12-0) or No. 5 Oakdale (11-1) on Dec. 12 at Folsom High for the section championship.

The dynamic 6-foot, 200-pound QB/RB/LB has posted staggering numbers that rank him among the section’s best.

His passing stats are impressive: 118 completions on 194 attempts (60.8 percent), 1,792 yards, 16 touchdowns and four interceptions. His rushing stats are even better: 2,351 yard and 23 scores on 274 carries.

The Capital Athletic League champions put their best player in position to make plays by running multiple formations and surrounding him with good-sized and well-disciplined linemen to go with other game-breaking skill athletes.

“They have a terrific player in Ryan Dimino,” Sierra coach Jeff Harbison said. “They have the complete package at Del Campo. (The offense) is very difficult to stop, and their defense is very difficult to prepare for.”

Dimino is complemented by 6-foot-3, 200-pound wide receiver Orlando Ortiz (43 receptions, 867 yards, 10 TDs), but they are also leaders of one of the best defenses in the section. Defensive end Eddie Plantaric (6-5, 250) has nine sacks and is headed for Stanford.

Del Campo ranks behind only Grant, the Division II favorite, and Inderkum in points allowed with 110 (9.2 per game).

“They bring the heat from everywhere on the field, and they mix up coverages on every play,” Harbison said.

The Cougars has qualified for the postseason for six straight years and has history with Inderkum, the D-III favorite. Inderkum beat Del Campo 21-10 in last year’s D-III semifinals, but the Cougars prevailed 24-7 in 2006 en route to winning the title.

Del Campo’s only loss came against 4-7 Woodcreek, 27-23, in a Week-4 non-league matchup. It looks like a bad loss on paper, but Woodcreek had one of the toughest schedules in the section and has another noteworthy victory over Division-II semifinalist Del Oro.

Sierra is in the middle of its second straight, and second all-time, playoff appearance. If the Timberwolves are to extend the winningest season in program history, they may have to do it without starting quarterback Jonathan Davis.

Davis left Friday’s 40-39 quarterfinal win over Benicia in the first quarter after reaggravating a right ankle injury. Reserve Adrian Valencia took the reins and literally ran with it, rushing for 222 yards and a score.

Harbison said that a starting quarterback may not be named until game time.

“We’ll see,” he said. “We saw what Adrian is capable of, and I think he gained a lot of confidence in that game. He got to start against Sonora and played for most of the Central Valley game, so we’re confident in what Adrian can bring.”
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