The Bee's Joe Davidson breaks down five notable games tonight:
No. 8 Del Campo (7-2) at No. 19 Rio Linda (8-1), 7:15 p.m.
The Capital Valley Conference championship will be decided between these two teams that live to run. Del Campo, with only one loss to a local team, No. 3 Elk Grove (20-16), is led by running backs Josh Blumgold (922 yards, 15 touchdowns), Austin Brown (682, 13 TDs) and quarterback Derek Rodigo (eight TD passes). Rio Linda, with its only loss to No. 14 Center (16-14), will counter with sophomore Marcel Brown (1,261 yards, 13 TDs), who is seemingly en route to every career rushing mark for the Knights.
No. 20 Antelope (8-1) at No. 12 Whitney (8-1), 7:30 p.m.
For the third consecutive season, the winner of this matchup takes the Capital Athletic League championship. Antelope took the honors in 2010 and Whitney last season. Both teams play good defense and have game-turning playmakers. Whitney has tailback Sutter Choisser (1,087 rushing yards, 18 TDs) and Antelope has receiver/defensive back Tyler Winston (10 TDs and three interceptions). Both teams have the benefit of big, physical offensive lines. Antelope lost to No. 19 Rio Linda (15-14) and Whitney fell to No. 10 Rocklin (6-0).
No. 9 Pleasant Grove (6-3) at No. 2 Folsom (9-0), 7:15 p.m.
These rivals square off to decide the Delta River League race, with Folsom already having clinched at least a share of the crown and Pleasant Grove needing a victory to nab a share. The host Bulldogs are averaging 47 points by passing for an average of 382 yards a game and rushing for 140. Jake Browning has passed for 3,438 yards and 40 touchdowns, thanks in large part to a superb line that allows him time to throw. Folsom has rushed for 19 touchdowns, but unlike recent seasons, those scores are not from the quarterback (Browning has one). Pleasant Grove has a 1-2-3 punch in quarterback Dre Terrell (14 TD passes, one interception), tailback Isaiah Saunders (1,136 yards, 15 TDs) and receiver Wyatt Demps (10 touchdowns). The Pleasant Grove line has to protect Terrell, who was sacked six times in a loss to Oak Ridge.
No. 14 Center (8-1) at No. 6 Placer (9-0), 7:30 p.m.
The winner stands as the Pioneer Valley League champion for the first time in a meeting of Center's speed on offense and Placer's power on defense to the tune of 34 sacks, 18 interceptions and 11 fumble recoveries. Center has one of the Sac-Joaquin Section's top 1-2 backfield combinations in quarterback Tyrel Anderson and running back D'Juan Bellaire.
No. 10 Rocklin (5-4) at No. 13 Del Oro (4-5), 7:30 p.m.
The winner of this Sierra Foothill League showdown secures at least second place and a playoff berth, and could earn a piece of the league crown if No. 15 Nevada Union beats No. 5 Granite Bay. The overall records for Rocklin and Del Oro are only so-so following tough nonleague games, but the teams turned their seasons around in SFL play.