The Sacramento Bee's Joe Davidson previews five notable high school football games (all start between 7 and 7:30 p.m. unless noted).
No. 7 Granite Bay (5-2) at No. 4 Del Oro (5-2)
Where: Del Oro
Outlook: It's always big, and sometimes beyond big, when these Sierra Foothill League powers meet. This has become the best rivalry in the Sac-Joaquin Section in recent years, with Granite Bay winning five times and Del Oro four in the last 10 years. Administrators from both schools are urging sportsmanship and calm for students after each campus was spray-painted late Tuesday. The grizzly bear at Granite Bay was painted in Del Oro black and gold, and Del Oro was marked with "GBHS" in big white letters on the sideline and ROLL TRIBE (the name of the Grizzlies' student section) on the field. Del Oro will do what it always does, and that's run behind a strong line anchored by Brandon Johnson, Emileo Campos and Tanner Woods. Running back Dylan Kainrath has 10 touchdowns in the last three games, and quarterback Michael Moore keeps things balanced. Granite Bay has been hurt by injuries, including to leading rusher Tony Ellison, out for the year because of a knee injury. Quarterback Josh Neal (1,359 passing yards, 13 touchdowns) looks often to Dylan Keeney and Marc Ellis, who have combined for 14 touchdowns.
No. 2 Elk Grove (7-0) vs. No. 15 Franklin (4-3)
Where: Cosumnes Oaks
Outlook: Franklin has to win to keep alive its hopes of defending at least a share of the Delta Valley Conference championship. Elk Grove features running back Wadus Parker (977 yards, 13 TDs) and a defense that might be the best in the section (holding six opponents to seven or fewer points). Noah Letuligasenoa has 10 1/2 of his team's 36 sacks, and he'll have his hands full with Franklin running back Joey Banks (385 yards) and quarterback Lamar Jackson (882 yards and 12 TDs passing, 379 yards and four TDs rushing). Banks also averages 12 tackles a game.
No. 13 Casa Roble (6-1) at No. 8 Rio Linda (6-1)
Where: Rio Linda
Outlook: This game could decide the Capital Valley Conference. Rio Linda features the running back combination of Marcel Brown (735 yards, nine TDs) and Leo Skattebo (577 yards, eight TDs), and Casa counters with quarterback Peyton Wilfley (1,812 yards and 22 TDs passing, 435 yards and nine TDs rushing), running back Ron Quinn (418 yards, four TDs) and wide receivers Jake Romine (496 yards, eight TDs) and Angel Tenorio (488 yards, six TDs). Rio Linda beat Casa Roble 49-22 last season.
No. 17 Cosumnes Oaks (5-2) vs. No. 18 Vista del Lago (5-2)
Outlook: Vista beat Cosumnes Oaks 35-34 to take the Sierra Valley Conference title last year, and all indications suggest another thriller this time around. Cosumnes Oaks quarterback Alex Kropp has flourished since his return from a broken (non-throwing) arm with seven touchdown passes and no interceptions in two recent routs. Kropp's main targets are UCLA commit Alex Van Dyke (392 yards, six TDs) and junior recruit L.J. Reed (195 yards, six TDs). Vista is led by quarterback Matt Jimison (2,302 passing yards, 27 TD passes, plus six rushing TDs) and running back Austin McGuire (351 yards, six TDs).
No. 16 Monterey Trail (5-2) at No. 9 Grant (4-3)
Outlook: Both need a victory to keep title hopes alive in the Delta Valley Conference. Grant is a punishing team with a big line, a power back in Deandre Whittington-Grays (711 yards, eight TDs) and a hard-hitting defense headed by Moses Moala, Chris Atteberry, Ben Upega and TieNeal Martin. Monterey Trail features a run-heavy veer, led by Donovan Robinson (420 yards, 12 TDs) and Trey Nahhas (646 yards, six TDs).