Two teams, three quarterbacks and one goal of winning a conference championship.
Tenth-ranked Rocklin will host No. 6 Granite Bay tonight in a Sierra Foothill League contest between teams trying to maintain good footing after early struggles.
Both teams are 3-3. Both have played well lately, and both feature emerging passers. Rocklin has two quarterbacks, Daniel Kniffin and Logan Webb, each of whom tossed two touchdown passes to help beat then-No. 7 Nevada Union 35-9 in a league opener last Friday. Kniffin returned to action after being sidelined by a shoulder injury.
Granite Bay quarterback Grant Carraway has filled the role well in place of three-year starter Brendan Keeney, now at Cal. Carraway has completed 26 of his past 30 passes in wins over Lincoln of Stockton (42-14) and Roseville (45-6).
"We've both had our ups and downs," Granite Bay coach Ernie Cooper said. "Rocklin's the real deal. They went through the same thing as us in the preseason, playing some great competition, learning about their team. I just know they're playing really well on both sides of the ball."
Nevada Union would vouch for that. On offense, the Miners were buried and suffered eight sacks against Rocklin's defense, headed by linemen Jared Amader, Jack Wittwer and Sam Woods and linebacker Kaige Miller.
Rocklin suffered early losses to ranked teams in Pleasant Grove (35-21), Oak Ridge (16-7) and Del Campo (21-20) but defeated then-ranked Whitney (6-0), ranked Inderkum (31-22) and NU.
Granite Bay, the defending section Division I champion, opened with losses to Westlake (24-6) and Oaks Christian (48-13) before beating Vacaville 47-21. A third loss came against visiting Pittsburgh 28-27 in overtime.
Both teams can ill-afford many more losses if they expect to reach the postseason.
"Traditionally, we've had some great battles with Granite Bay," Rocklin coach Greg Benzel said. "This will be a great challenge for our guys."
Et cetera No. 4 Burbank moved its home game tonight against Valley to 5:15 p.m. to address concerns about a shooting near campus during a recent game. Burbank home games have been safe otherwise, school officials said.
Before ending its 22-game losing streak with a 26-20 win over Kennedy last week, Valley had scored a total of six points in five games.
Jake Browning of Folsom ranks first in Northern California and second in the state with 2,363 passing yards.
Rio Americano's Zack Suarez ranks first in NorCal and second in the state with six interceptions.
Defensive linemen Zack Claiborne of Oak Ridge and Ngalu Tapa of Burbank lead NorCal with 111/2 and 11 sacks, respectively.
Gio Diaz of Lincoln has made all nine of his field-goal attempts to lead the state in accuracy among kickers with at least seven made.
T.J. Dove of River Valley leads NorCal and ranks second in the state with a 44.8-yard punt return average.