Inderkum Round 3 Playoff Game Tonight

Comraderie Has Carried Team This Season

THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

Inderkum High School is one of four teams left in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III despite a season marred by injuries.

The Tigers play their round three game against Vista del Lago High School 7 p.m. today, Nov. 24 at Folsom High School.

“It is always great and always a goal to have a practice on Thanksgiving,” Inderkum head coach Terry Stark said. “It means you have had a really good year. It’s special.”

The Tigers have five different players who have scored at least five rushing touchdowns and three of those have at least 750 rushing yards—showing a true team effort.

Whether it’s an injury, a suspension or just going with the hot hand—the Tigers are a team just fighting together for one purpose—win.

“I think the team has really come together because we are not a bunch of superstars,” Inderkum head coach Terry Stark said. “We just have a lot of good players.”

The Tigers have played with a depleted defensive line at different points of the regular season. D.J. Myart, the top running back coming into the season, hasn’t played a down this year because of a knee injury. Eric Walters, who led Inderkum this season with 1,041 rushing yards is no longer on the team. Josh Montes, who led the Tigers in rushing in 2011, is finally healthy for the first time all season.

With that, Stark said, the adversity has built camaraderie in his team.

“They realize they have to count on each other more,” Stark said. “We don’t have any homerun hitters out there anymore. We have very good players. Not to say Terence and Josh can’t take it and go all the way, because they can. But we have to run more plays and grind it out.

“We have to think better and I don’t want to say want it more, but we have to go beyond the effort we have.”

The Tigers, the No. 6 seed in D-III playoffs, beat Manteca at home in round one and defeated Sierra of Manteca last week on the road, giving Inderkum 10 wins in a season for the seventh consecutive year. That is the second-longest streak in the section behind Escalon High.

“It’s never been a goal, but it is nice to do it,” Stark said.

The Tigers will have a real test in the semifinal game against Vista del Lago, winners of 11 in a row after a season opening loss to D-I semifinalist Oak Ridge.

Led by sophomore quarterback Matt Jimison (2306 passing yards, 35 TD) and junior running back Josh Pfeffer (979 yards, 15 TD), the Eagles have one of the most potent and balanced offenses in the section—a good reason why they are still in the playoffs.

“(Jimison) is going to be special. He is only a sophomore. But you can just see that he plays beyond his years,” Stark said. “And (Pfeffer) is a good one. They are really balanced and run and pass pretty equally.”

Vista beat El Camino in round two with a thrilling comeback win, scoring 21 unanswered points after trailing by 16 in the fourth quarter.

The winner tonight will play in the section title game at either Hornet Stadium at Sacramento State or at Lincoln High School in Stockton either or Nov. 30 or Dec. 1. The Tigers last played in a section title game in 2009 which it lost to Del Campo.

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