It was the game that many football fans wanted to see but that the coaches had tried to sidestep for years.
No. 5 Pleasant Grove defeated No. 7 Burbank 14-12 Friday night at Sheldon High School as both teams clearly showed they know each other well.
Burbank coach John Heffernan and Pleasant Grove's Joe Cattolico are good friends dating to their days in the Bay Area. Their teams scrimmage each other before the start of the season.
But they don't like to play each other once the season begins. Their only previous meeting came last year, when Burbank defeated the Eagles 32-27 in the second round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs.
"It wasn't by choice," Heffernan said of Friday's game. "They needed a game, and we needed a game. So we said, 'Let's do this once.' It's hard, but it's good to play because you know you are going to get a competitive game."
While both teams normally feature explosive offenses, this game turned into a battle of wills and attrition. There were few big plays.
The one exception was Calvin Green's dazzling 28-yard burst down the left sideline that enabled the Titans (1-1) to close to 14-12 with 4:02 to play in the third quarter. It was the longest offensive play of the evening.
But Pleasant Grove (2-0) stopped Ernest Jenkins' two-point conversion run short of the end zone.
The Titans wouldn't get another chance against a tough Pleasant Grove defense led by linebacker Ennis Mayberry, who had 13 tackles.
Three times in the fourth quarter, Pleasant Grove forced the Titans to give up the ball on downs.
Meanwhile, the Eagles kept grinding away as junior Demaree Morris, filling in for injured Ian Broom, ran hard behind his stout offensive line of Isaiah Tharp, Joseph Kinard, Kyle Dixon, Diego Cervantes and Dylan Kaiser.
Morris finished with 106 yards, including a 3-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, on 31 carries. Chad Philipps made the PAT and booted another after Dre Terrell's 3-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
No. 3 Elk Grove 60, Foothill-Palo Cedro 7 in Elk Grove Wadus Parker rushed for 146 yards and two touchdowns on seven carries, and Tommy Arnold completed all seven of his passes with three touchdowns, including an 83-yarder to Noah Letuligasenoa. Ryan Robards had a 93-yard kickoff return for the Herd (2-0).
No. 6 Oak Ridge 23, No. 8 Rocklin 21 in El Dorado Hills Ian Book threw touchdown passes of 35 yards to Trent Buenzli and 2 yards to Jacob Sipes, Tanner Hughes ran for a 1-yard score, and Ryan Lamb booted a 23-yard field goal as the Trojans (2-0) held off the Thunder (0-2).
No. 10 Inderkum 48, Bethel 14 in Natomas Arizona State verbal commit Jordan Thomas had 12 tackles, two interceptions and a sack, and Terrence White rushed for 125 yards and three touchdowns and caught a touchdown pass as the Tigers (2-0) beat the Jaguars (1-1).
No. 14 Roseville 22, No. 13 Rio Linda 14 in Roseville The Tigers continued an impressive start to the season with a win over the Knights (0-1), but a scary incident overshadowed the game.
With less than 10 seconds left to play, public address announcer Ron Grove (also the Roseville girls volleyball coach) fell to the floor, and the game stopped for five minutes as paramedics revived him.
With the ambulance leaving the field, Roseville's Matt Razzano blocked a field goal in the final seconds and Jake Vaughn scooped up the ball and returned it for a game-ending touchdown.
Kyle Downie went 16 of 22 for 288 yards and the go-ahead touchdown to Jonathan Lopez with just over 6 minutes left in the game for Roseville (2-0).
Grove was reported to be alert at the hospital and undergoing further tests.
No. 18 Vista del Lago 76, Highlands 0 in Folsom Matt Jimison threw seven touchdown passes, including three to Brad Rittenhouse, as the Eagles (1-1) routed the Scots (0-2).
Oakmont 27, Whitney 21 in Roseville Jordan Naab's 28-yard pass to Justin Holmes with under a minute to play lifted the Vikings (2-0) over the Wildcats (1-1). Naab also completed touchdown passes of 50, 45 and 14 yards to Namani Parker.
Sheldon 68, Lodi 14 at the Grape Bowl Nolan Merker passed for a school-record eight touchdowns, four to Taron Johnson, for the Huskies (2-0). Merker had seven touchdown passes in the first half. Johnson also returned an interception for a score.
Ponderosa 35, Valley 0 at Cosumnes River College Colby Chiverton threw two touchdown passes, and Conrad Washington had two interceptions for the Bruins (2-0).
Call The Bee's Bill Paterson, (916) 326-5506. The Bee's Joe Davidson and correspondent Trevor Horn contributed to this report.