High School Sports

Rodney Pereira, Oakdale Receiver

Pereira has been catching balls thrown by Devin Combs since they were youngsters playing in the park. Add four years of high school football, and it's easy why the two have created such a strong bond.

"We were friends when we were little, and I think that carries over when we're playing," said Pereira, a senior who caught 10 passes for 143 yards and two TDs in Friday's 42-39 loss to state-ranked Cardinal Newman. "Devin and I have a lot of confidence in each other."

That confidence extends to head coach Trent Merzon and his playcalling. The key to his 10-catch night, Pereira said, was that Merzon kept the defense guessing.

"They're a smart team, so he kept changing the routes," said Pereira, who has six touchdowns this season. "It wasn't anything tricky, but he had the defense guessing. Then Devin found the window and he'd know I'd be there. That gets back to the two of us being good friends."