Rodrick Pleasant scores punt return TD, intercepts Nico Iamaleava twice

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Rodrick Pleasant scores punt return TD, intercepts Nico Iamaleava twice

Football

Rodrick Pleasant scores punt return TD, intercepts Nico Iamaleava twice

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Rodrick Pleasant is not an athlete who punters are advised to kick toward. In addition to being a four-star cornerback, Pleasant is the California record holder for the 100-yard dash. With a time of 10.14 seconds set in May, Pleasant eclipsed a record set 37 years ago.

The Warren High School (Downey, Calif.) staff must not have emphasized it heavily enough to their new punter.

Pleasant returned a punt 88 yards to the house despite not cleanly gathering the slippery ball on the rainy evening. He picked it up, sprinted past a defender, and then sprinted past all the rest. By the time he got to the 50-yard line, no defender was within five yards of him.

Pleasant told the Daily Breeze that he wasn’t expecting punts to come his way, and said in an interview with Spectrum News 1 SoCal that he took it personally.

“I take it as disrespect,” Pleasant said. “Teams don’t kick to me very often. You kick to me twice, OK — first time you get it, second time you’re going to pay.”

This first-quarter touchdown return, which put Serra up 14-13, ended up being the game-winner. The Cavaliers won 16-14, with a safety being the only points scored in the final three quarters of the game.

With the rain serving as a heavy factor, no pass was thrown over the first six-and-a-half minutes of the second half, according to the Daily Breeze. Once the ball went airborne again, Pleasant served a key factor in the stout defense against five-star Tennessee commit Nico Iamaleava.

In the fourth quarter, Pleasant picked him off twice.

“Nico’s like my best friend … I told him don’t throw it at me this week,” Pleasant said.

Pleasant is ranked on the 247Sports composite as the eighth-best cornerback and No. 82 player in the class. He has offers from 28 schools including Boston College, Oregon, Penn State and USC.

Serra improved to 2-2 on the year with back-to-back wins.

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