Week 4 was another exciting weekend of great high school football match ups across the Bay Area and included plenty of big plays on defense!
The matchup between the San Ramon Valley Wolves and the Freedom Falcons is always a great one to watch and this year's battle was no different. The game saw six lead changes, over 689 yards of combined offense and amazing highlight plays. However, one player stood out amongst the rest. Daniel Roanhorse, the Freedom Falcons' senior free safety, finished the game with eight tackles and three interceptions. When the final whistle blew the Freedom Falcons, led by head coach Andrew Cotter, won by a score of 37-24.
It was a slow start for the Falcons and they found themselves in a 10-0 hole early into the first quarter. "We went down quickly in the first and were trying to do too much," head coach Andrew Cotter said of his Falcons offense. "Our defense had a few great stops that gave our offense confidence and a chance to get going. We were able to strike back in the second quarter and make it a game."
Right before half time, Cotter and the Falcons offense knew they needed to force a shift in momentum. "It was a back and forth game up until half time and we needed to get some momentum," Cotter said. "Daniel made a huge play on defense getting an interception, which gave us the confidence we needed to make a play on offense. We called a hook and ladder play and were able to score right before the half."
"We knew in the second half we had to get San Ramon out of their strong rushing offense," Cotter said of his defense. "Daniel is a talented kid. Not many safeties can come from the deep middle and fill on the run. He really can do it all back there." Thanks to stellar play by Roanhorse and the defense, the Falcons were able to score 14 unanswered points in the third quarter.
When asked about game changing plays, Cotter said, "We recovered a pooch kick on special teams that gave us great field position and allowed us to take the lead. That was the start. The Wolves came out next drive ready to throw the ball, but Daniel was all over it. His second interception was our turning point. I knew it was going to be tough for them to move the football with him in the secondary."
Leading by a score of 30-17 going into the fourth quarter, it was up to the defense to keep points off the board. "Our defense played great together," Cotter said. "They set the edge on run plays, and got in windows in the passing lane. Daniel had one more interception in the fourth and that was it."
When asked about Daniel's leadership qualities, his head coach was open about his insights. "He is somewhat quiet when it comes to being out there with the guys. He puts that helmet on and goes to work. I think he is a great lead by example kind of guy. You see how he carries himself in the weight room, during film, and at practice. It's business for Daniel and I think the sky's the limit for his potential. He is fearless and one of the hardest hitting guys I've been around."
Daniel is a football player that has high expectations for himself. He hopes to have the chance to play football at the next level. "He's getting some looks now and he deserves every bit of attention he is getting," Cotter said. "He is an all-around awesome kid that doesn't slack anywhere. Has above a 3.0 GPA and is as academically gifted as he is athletically." We are excited to nominate him as the Player of the Week and can't wait to see how the season turns out for #20!
As the home school of the 49ers High School Player of the Week presented by U.S. Bank, Freedom High School will receive a $500 grant for their football program from the 49ers Foundation. As part of this award, Roanhorse will receive two tickets to a 49ers home game where he will be recognized on the field during pre-game. At the end of the season, Roanhorse will be invited to the SAP Performance Facility to watch a closed practice where 49ers head coach, Kyle Shanahan, will officially present him with his award.