Hector Amezcua / hamezcua@sacbee.com

Luther Burbank High School quarterback Ernest Jenkins (8), running hard against Napa during a Zero Week game this season, is one of the key players for the Titans, who square off against Grant this week.

Grant, Burbank to grow closer with another matchup

Published: Friday, Sep. 13, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 2C
Last Modified: Friday, Sep. 13, 2013 - 5:17 pm

During rivalry weeks, teams tend to heap praise on each other.

Sometimes, it's lip service. Sometimes, it's genuine, such as for tonight's high school football showdown in Del Paso Heights.

No. 5 Grant is host to No. 7 Burbank in a game between teams – players and coaches alike – that have grown close over the years.

"A lot of respect for Grant, and them for us," Burbank quarterback Ernest Jenkins said. "It's always a great game with Grant."

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Burbank beat Grant twice last season – 36-27 in a nonleague game and 26-19 in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs. The Pacers (2-0) have 58 players on a roster full of big and fast athletes. Burbank (1-1) has 31 players.

"They don't have a large group, but they have a lot of seniors who are experienced and are very talented," Grant coach Mike Alberghini said. "We have to be prepared. (Coach John) Heffernan's got a good group, and they do a great job."

The key to the game could be how Grant deals with Jenkins, who rushed for 192 yards and three touchdowns in last year's regular-season game and 156 yards and one touchdown in the playoff victory. Burbank defensive tackle Ngalu Tapa could be a handful for Grant, too; he totaled five sacks and six hurries in last year's two games.

Woodland's Jones commits – Woodland defensive back Devin Jones has given a verbal pledge to Colorado State, making him the second in his family to land a scholarship. Older brother Dalen Jones plays in the secondary for Fresno State. Devin Jones also plays receiver and on special teams.

Name game – The sons of former NFL players by the same name played each other last Friday. Damen Wheeler Jr. of Sacramento caught touchdown passes of 60 and 40 yards, only to be countered by Alex Van Dyke Jr., who scored on a 52-yard catch to help key Cosumnes Oaks' 24-13 victory.

Wheeler's father was The Bee's Player of the Year in 1995 for Valley before starting four seasons at cornerback for Colorado and playing one season for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The elder Van Dyke was a star receiver at Burbank and Sacramento City College in the early 1990s who became an All-American at Nevada before playing for the New York Jets and Philadelphia Eagles over five NFL seasons.

A Cal assistant coach was on hand to take a peek at the players.

East Coast trek – With Cosumnes Oaks idle this weekend, lineman Kameron Schroeder is taking an official visit to Duke. He will watch Saturday's game against Georgia Tech and tour the facilities.

Fish Bowl fun – Justice Shelton-Mosley scored on an 86-yard kickoff return, an 85-yard interception return and runs of 52 and 43 yards, and Luis Gomez made 16 tackles to lead Capital Christian past rival Bradshaw Christian 37-20 in the third Fish Bowl on Saturday night. Earlier, Capital Christian's soccer team beat nationally ranked Jesuit of Portland 1-0 on a goal by Devon Alvarez.

Del Oro's Rhyne has surgery – Del Oro tailback Te'Von Rhyne had surgery to repair his fibula and ankle, which included the insertion of four screws after being injured against Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks on Saturday. One screw comes out in six weeks, and the other three will stay forever. Rhyne is targeting a return to track next spring.

Follow Joe Davidson on Twitter @SacBee_JoeD and check out PrepsPlus Insider at sacbee.com/preps.

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