Pleasant Grove High School has a new leader but the same championship hopes.
The Eagles started the football season with uncertainty after quarterback Cody Demps, who led the team to its third Sac-Joaquin Section Division I title game appearance in four seasons, exchanged his cleats for high- tops, accepting a basketball scholarship from Sacramento State.
Junior Deaundre Terrell stepped in, and three weeks into the season, that question mark has been replaced by an exclamation mark.
Terrell passed for four touchdowns Friday night to lead No. 3 Pleasant Grove to a 29-28 victory over then-No. 2 Nevada Union in the wildest finish in the Sac-Joaquin Section this season.
Terrell connected with junior Wyatt Demps, Cody's younger brother and a returning two-way starter, for all four touchdowns, including a 16-yarder with 33 seconds left. Terrell then found fullback Tyree Hanson for a two-point conversion and the win.
Wyatt Demps still had enough energy to block a 44-yard field-goal attempt with 10 seconds to go as the Eagles (2-1) escaped with a victory after a similar late-drama setback at Lincoln of Stockton.
Terrell completed 17 of 20 passes for 205 yards in the win over Nevada Union.
"They've played beyond their years," Pleasant Grove coach Joe Cattolico said of Terrell and Demps. "Both are great kids, hard-working kids, playing well. It's probably the first time at Pleasant Grove we've won a game without rushing for a touchdown, so that's new for us. It was a big win for us."
Pleasant Grove plays Friday at No. 13 Inderkum.
Big road win No. 2 Franklin trailed at Freedom of Oakley 21-0 before recovering two onside kicks and scoring twice in a 31-21 victory.
Big plays for Franklin included Christian Fonbuena's 94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and a 56-yard touchdown run by Steven Rogers for the go-ahead score. Fonbuena (86) and Rogers (108) combined for 194 rushing yards. Franklin plays No. 12 Cosumnes Oaks on Friday. Both teams call Cosumnes Oaks' stadium home.
Trojans roll in showcase No. 10 Oak Ridge blasted Washington of Fremont 49-0 Saturday to cap the Football for Families showcase in El Dorado Hills.
Jason Samuels connected with Byron Spain for three of his four touchdown passes, and Blake Martin and Josh Wellman each ran for a touchdown. Nick Gordon had 18 tackles for the Trojans, who will host No. 11 Grant on Friday.
Showdown No. 6 and defending Division I champion Granite Bay hosts defending section Division II champion Vacaville. The Grizzlies look to avoid their first 0-3 start while playing their most daunting schedule since beginning varsity play in 1997.
Vacaville defeated Granite Bay 38-27 last season, and the Bulldogs beat Marin Catholic of Kentfield 28-24 Friday on a touchdown with five seconds left.
Et cetera Next for No. 7 Burbank after a 36-27 win over Grant, the winningest team in the region in the last 10 seasons: at No. 5 Del Oro, the second-winningest in the last decade.
No. 15 Jesuit and No. 16 Christian Brothers meet in Holy Bowl XLII on Saturday night at Hughes Stadium. Both are ranked and unbeaten for the first time in years. For tickets, go to jesuithighschool.org/tickets.
Rio Linda debuts in The Bee's Top 20 at No. 17 after beating previous No. 15 Antelope 15-14 behind sophomore tailback Marcel Brown, who rushed for 154 yards and a touchdown.